Government names first sites for small house builders

The government has named the location for the first batch of new homes it is directly delivering with smaller housebuilders. The first wave of up to 13,000 homes will be built on publicly owned sites in London, Cambridge, Dover, Chichester and Gosport. Up to 40% of homes delivered under this pilot programme will be affordable starter homes for sale to buyers under the age of 40 at a 20% discount.

Government has stepped in to directly commission homes to accelerate delivery and give greater access to market to smaller builders and new businesses. The approach has not been adopted at this scale since the regeneration of London Docklands under prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

The five debut sites are part of the following schemes:

  • Connaught Barracks in Dover: a former MOD site of 55 ha, which is allocated for up to 500 homes
  • Northstowe in Cambridgeshire: a proposed new town that will eventually comprise 10,000 new homes in total
  • Lower Graylingwell in Chichester: a former NHS site, which has struggled to find a housebuilder to take it forward.
  • Daedelus on Waterfront in Gosport: A former MOD site which is being regenerated into a mixed commercial and residential area. The waterfront part of the site can accommodate 249 homes, but constraints have to date made it difficult to secure a housebuilder to deliver the opportunity
  • Old Oak Common in north west London: where 24,000 mixed tenure homes are to be built. The site is a Mayoral Development Corporation.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “When it comes to building new homes, the availability of small sites is the single biggest barrier to SME house builders increasing their output.”

Image courtesy Tracey Perry,

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