Strategies to deliver new homes

What steps are needed to deliver more homes?

28 March 2014, Words by Savills Research

Savills planning manifesto

1. Housing delivery must be given the highest priority. We must ensure that needs assessment is transparent, robust and takes full account of the demand that may transcend LPA boundaries.

2. Local housing targets must in aggregate meet need at a national level. Localist initiatives should be supported but we should ensure that Governmental powers are used where necessary to avoid logjams.

3. LPAs around London must form an “Arc of Co-operation” to absorb overflow of demand from the capital. The London Mayor needs to co-operate with authorities outside London to ensure that the housing needs that cannot be met within the capital are met elsewhere.

4. LPAs should consider the release of Green Belt land at key nodes and along transport routes where it is more sustainable to build for identified needs than in less well situated locations.

5. Landowners (public as well as private) and developers should continue to bring forward land to form a five year land supply in LPA areas where higher housing targets are emerging via new Local Plans or where there is a shortfall in deliverable five year supply.

6. Central Government needs to continue to invest in infrastructure to facilitate growth through investment such as City Deals and ensure that housing development is not inadvertently killed off through regulatory and fiscal burdens. It should create New Town Corporations where appropriate to co-ordinate the bringing forward of land for development.

7. The development potential of land should be maximised, especially in London, through well-designed higher density development.

Positions of the three main political parties



■ Encourage the principle of allowing communities to shape development, cut red tape, speed up the planning system and apply incentives to stimulate housebuilding

■ A new planning court to fast track Judicial Reviews of planning decisions

■ A statutory requirement for Councils to produce Local Plans

■ Further measures to identify poor performing councils and enable planning applications to be made direct to the Planning Inspectorate

■ Web based Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) to replace dozens of previous circulars/guidance and enable rapid updating

■ Emphasis on brownfield development and Green Belt protection



■ Support the creation of new settlements and more competition among housebuilders, while further strengthening localism and the bottom-up approach to planning

■ Reduced powers for the Secretary of State to ‘call-in” planning applications, and reduced powers for the Planning Inspectorate

■ Introduce local appeals system for minor proposals, and more resources for Neighbourhood Plans

■ Third party right to appeal in cases where planning permission is granted as a departure from an adopted Local or Neighbourhood Plan

■ Reform of the 1981 New Towns Act to assist the creation of new settlements



■ Aspires to increase housebuilding to 200,000 new homes per year by 2020

■ A new generation of New Towns and Garden Cities via New Town Development Corporations, with powers to raise finance, assemble land and undertake development

■ Measures to discourage landbanking, including powers to allow LPAs to charge fees on developers not releasing land, and additional CPO powers

■ Reform of the ‘duty to cooperate’ including a new ‘right to grow’

■ Ensure communities receive a larger share of development ‘windfall’

2014 Budget Update

■The Budget includes a series of finance initiatives to boost housebuilding, notably the continuation to 2020 of Help to Buy, and £525 million of loans to unlock smaller scale housing schemes.

■A mechanism for the designation of Garden Cities was announced and is to be locally led. There is also a willingness to invest in infrastructure where it directly facilitates growth; for example in specific locations in London and Greater Cambridge.

■The release of £5bn worth of public sector land in the Autumn, giving rise to major opportunities for developers.

■Permitted development rights to allow a change from warehouses to residential.

■A right to build for self builders.

■An experimental scheme, to pass a share of the benefits of development directly to individual households.


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Jim Ward

Jim Ward

Residential Research and Consultancy

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