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Government seeks new sources of housing supply

A recent study conducted by the National Housing Taskforce has shown that 10,000s of additional new dwellings could be created via self and custom build each year.

“Our inquiry is uncovering a long list of barriers that are frustrating the efforts of small, self, custom and community builders, whether it’s acquiring land, getting to site or accessing finance,” says Helen Hayes MP, chair of the New Sources of Supply inquiry.

Possible solutions to these challenges could include releasing more public and private land to free up plots for new development and improving financial packages to encourage would-be self builders. The investigation also analysed the role of enabling organisations that could help local councils put supportive policies in place and encourage housing providers to grow their business.

Planning reforms on the horizon

Housing and Planning minister Gavin Barwell has outlined the directives he wants to achieve via the alterations that have been proposed for the Neighbourhood Planning Bill. The legislation is currently being examined by the House of Commons.

One of the proposed changes would make it essential for councils to have their own Local Plan that lays out its priorities and policies for housing development. “The amendments will allow us to take the chance to improve the accessibility of plans to local communities and others,” says Barwell.

251

is the total number of custom build homes that are available at the Beechwood West development in Basildon, Essex – the second largest venture of its kind in the UK to obtain planning consent.

The scheme is being co-ordinated by Swan Housing Association, Nu-Living, Basildon Borough Council and the Homes & Communities Agency. The project is part of the greater regeneration of the 1960s Craylands estate, which encompasses the creation of almost 1,000 new dwellings.

Image: Katie Lee

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