Laura Sharman 29 October 2018

Budget 2018: Letwin calls for new approach to large sites

Local authorities with high housing demand should be given the freedom to allocate land as single large sites and have the clear statutory powers to control the development of such sites, an independent review has concluded.

The report from Sir Oliver Letwin was commissioned by the chancellor to explore how to close the gap between the number of housing completions and the amount of land allocated or permissioned on large sites in areas of high housing demand.

The review also states that local authorities should be allowed to purchase the land designated for large single sites at a price that reflects its with planning permission granted.

In response, John Acres president of the Royal Town Planning Institute, said: 'The Review echoes the Institute’s key concern that the delivery role of the public sector has been limited in recent years to responding to private sector proposals. The Review’s recommendations to change this by giving enhanced powers for local authorities to achieve proactive development is very welcome.

'We also support his core proposal that sites need greater diversity in home type and tenure, but believe this needs to be extended across a much wider section of the housing market, not only to very large sites in the remit of this Review.'

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation comments: @We welcome Sir Oliver Letwin’s recommendations, and in particular, his focus on the need for a more diverse, multi-tenure approach to large sites. The benefits will be three-fold, both helping to address market absorption rates and deliver homes quicker and help to create more sustainable places home to different demographics, socio-economic backgrounds, fostering a greater sense of community.

'In addition, adding a tenure such as build to rent to a development site brings with it an investor with a long term interest.'

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