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Chief Executive comments on Queen’s speech

May 2015

Steve Errington, Chief Executive of Story Homes, commented on the Housing Bill outlined in the Queen’s speech which put forward proposals for Starter Homes and development on brownfield sites.

He said: “Story Homes welcomes the Government’s plans for Starter Homes which will help to provide more houses for first-time buyers – who are the lifeblood of the housing market.
“Restricting these homes to Starter Homes only needs to be looked at carefully however.

“There may need to be flexibility applied to combine full market value homes with starter homes on individual schemes. Too many restrictions may see too few sites being developed to meet the criteria for Starter Homes. If not enough properties are developed they will obviously make a limited impact on the housing market.

“The Government needs to make sure that these schemes are viable in terms of the market value homes available for sale, and the development sites which can be used for these properties, to make sure developers come on board to build them.

“The plans announced to increase the housing supply, through making development on brownfield land, easier are very welcome.

“The question mark over brownfield sites is always one of viability because of the sometimes onerous planning and clean-up costs involved.

“A streamlined planning process through the Local Development Order Process is welcome, as is the potential to work in partnership with local authorities to ensure the identified sites work from a developer’s point of view.

“Unlocking brownfield land is a very positive move. However the shortfall of new housing supply will not be fulfilled with brownfield land alone.”