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Government widens its search for land to build new homes

Posted: 29th February 2012   In: Commercial Property

The Government says it’s ahead of schedule in identifying publicly owned land that can be used to build new homes.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps recently announced that he wants local authorities and Government departments to release enough land for 100,000 homes by 2015.

He said the Government had already found enough land for 80,000 homes and more plots were still being identified. He said he was also looking outside Government departments and was working with organisations like the BBC, Network Rail and the Royal Mail to encourage them to release surplus land.

The release of land for redevelopment is one of several schemes the Government is pursuing in an attempt to boost the construction industry and provide new homes. It is also releasing a further £432m as bonuses for councils that provide new homes or bring empty properties back into use. 

Mr Shapps said: "I’m keen to say to local authorities that there’s not much benefit to hanging on to land. We should no longer pride ourselves on how much public land we have; we would rather have the nation housed."

The Government has also announced a New Buy Guarantee scheme in which the Government will provide indemnity for mortgages of up to 95% loan to value for new build properties. It’s hoped the scheme will encourage lenders to provide more mortgages. 

Ministers are also now considering applications from developers for funds under theGetBritainBuildingscheme. This scheme provides £400m to enable builders to restart projects that have planning permission but have stalled due to cash flow problems. 

We shall keep clients informed of developments.