Increasing housing supply – shifting perceptions from “problem” to “asset”?

WRITTEN BY LOCAL PARTNERSHIPS
Picture: Simon Bandy
POSTED ON September 25, 2015

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis recently set out the Government’s aim to have delivered one million new homes by 2020. Increasing housing supply must, therefore, stay at the top of the Government’s agenda for the foreseeable future. As part of Property Week’s ‘Resi Conference’, held in Newport from 7 – 9 September, Local Partnerships’ Simon Bandy chaired a discussion on how the planning system should be used to meet this challenge and unlock land for residential development.

RESI 2015 was the 9th year of the annual conference focused on housing, attracting more than 800 delegates over three days. The conference showcased best practice, explored the opportunities and challenged the status quo to encourage the growth and innovation of housing delivery across all tenures.

Simon was joined by Melanie Leech, (Chief Executive, British Property Federation) Philip Barnes (Group Land and Planning Director, Barratt Development); Clive Skidmore (Head of Regeneration and Development, Birmingham City Council); and Linda Wheaton (State of California) provided an international perspective
Titled “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail! How do we oil the wheels of the planning system to increase housing supply?” the discussion focused on how to change local communities’ perceptions of new housing –from “problem to be controlled, to asset to be welcomed”.

Speakers agreed changes to legislation and regulations could make the system more efficient. Simon concluded the key difference between areas that do or don’t deliver was the level of understanding of what new housing can contribute to the area’s wider vision and economy, as well as the area having experienced good developers and developments.
Panellists introduced examples of good practice and discussion centred on developing the understanding, trust and working relationships with planners, councillors and the wider community that should be at the heart of the planning process. Whilst the housing challenge is national, solutions need to be local. The public sector needs to provide leadership and understanding whilst developers need to demonstrate a consistent commitment to quality and the local community.

To find out more about how Local Partnerships can help you deliver housing successfully please contact Simon Bandy on simon.bandy@local.gov.uk or 07917 202 318.



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