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The South West Specialists

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Homes White Paper

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Whilst criticised for its lack of definition the Governments Housing White Paper was according to Greg Oldrieve, Head of Development Services at Vickery Holman, very welcome.Greg said “Identifying the problem is essential to its resolution.

The paper displayed a clear understanding of what has caused the crisis and what needs to be done to resolve it. It covered a wide range of issues and whilst not providing clear detail identified a direction of travel for all those involved in building houses.”Local communities and their representatives will not be allowed to deny there is a problem or abdicate responsibility. Every local authority will be required to establish “a plan” for building sufficient houses and if this is not adequate central government will step in.

In return communities are being offered greater involvement in the design of any development. The development process will be accelerated through the provision of additional funding to local authorities for planning staff but also cutting the bureaucracy, in particular the provision of planning consent conditions.  Developers, especially SME builders, will be supported with loan funding for development but also for the creation of extra resource in terms of both skills and innovative techniques like prefabrication.  In return they will be required to support the necessary infrastructure for development and any land banking will be penalised.

Prospective house buyers and tenants will be supported with additional financial initiatives and security measures. Housing Associations will receive an additional £7.1 bn of funding. Greg went on to say “You can’t fault with the Government’s ambition and now it is up to communities, professionals and builders to accept the challenge and accelerate the current level of supply. How this affects the marketplace will only be known when people accept the challenge and when there is more detail on the White Paper’s proposals."