Intelligence: 29 June 2020Building a Recovery; a route map for resurgence

As part of our #letsfindaway activity to highlight the role the housing sector can play in leading the economic recovery post Covid-19 we've joined forces with the Land Promoters and Developers Federation (LPDF) and have submitted a report to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak urging them to stimulate the housing sector to enabling the UK to accelerate on the road to recovery.

The report, entitled 'Building a Recovery: a route map for resurgence', highlights how the housebuilding industry is critical to the UK's recovery both economically and socially and puts forward a series of initiatives and recommendations on how we can achieve this. 

Paul Brocklehurst, chairman of the LPDF, said: “Now, more than ever, the Government needs to ensure that the planning system can deliver on its target of 300,000 new homes being built each year by the mid-2020’s. The sector can form a central role in any economic recovery plan for Great Britain. It can do so whilst supporting the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda and can address the inequity that is developing between generations through a lack of access to housing, with the wide-ranging socio-economic benefits that this can bring.”

Proposals contained in ‘Building a Recovery’ include:

  • Extending the current Help to Buy scheme by at least 18 months to ensure First Time Buyers are able to get onto the home ownership ladder.
  • Boost housing transaction levels by introducing a targeted Stamp Duty holiday for 18 months.
  • Fast-track the First Homes initiative, with a focus in the first instance on Key Workers.

Planning Director Michael Knott said: “The planning system needs to play a central role in supporting the recovery and the Government has promised to publish ambitious reforms in the coming weeks. We believe that the recovery can be readily supported through measures to improve how the current system operates as opposed to radical reforms at this time.”

Improving and simplifying the planning system is key to swift success, our report calls for the Government to:

  • Urgently review the Standard Method to appropriately and consistently calculate housing need.
  • Supercharge incentives for local authorities to deliver the housing required so that all residents can benefit from better infrastructure and services.
  • View allocations in Local Plans as deemed approvals, which should only be required to obtain further consent for design and layout.
  • Consider a re-organisation of local government to greater reflect strategic housing market areas as part of the Government’s devolution agenda.

The recommendations put forward are supported by the results from a survey of the LPDF's membership - over 60 leading land promoters and developers (including ourselves) -  adding further weight to our call to actions.

View the report by clicking on the above image.

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