What is Homes England’s new interactive Land Hub?
The new Land Hub is an interactive digital tool developed by Homes England is hailed as key to achieving its target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s and in particular building them quicker by matching builders to plots of land which are already approved and ready for home-building.
When was it launched?
The online portal was launched at the MIPIM property conference in Cannes, France in March 2019 and replaces Homes England’s existing Land Development and Disposal Plan.
What is its goal?
To solve the concerns of many throughout government and the industry that the current process of selling public land takes too long and results in too few affordable homes being built.
How will it work?
Over the next 18 months, 148 sites are going to be made available via the online Land Hub. In total 2,500 acres of developable land will be offered for sale with the potential to build thousands of homes.
House builders of all sizes, including small and medium-sized companies, will be able to use the Land Hub to see details of each site available for sale including details of its planning status, size and proposed use, such as residential, industrial or commercial.
Where will this land be made available?
Homes England controls around 8,500 hectares of public land which include coalfield sites and sites inherited and acquired from former regional development agencies and other government departments.
Will there be more sites made available?
Homes England have also agreed to commit £1.03bn to a land assembly fund which it will use to acquire sites which require intervention before they are ready for housebuilding. Eventually these sites will be made available online too.
Additionally, Homes England has agreed a partnership with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to develop land being released by the Ministry of Defence where there is the potential to deliver over 10,000 homes across seven brownfield sites.
What’s been said?
The Communities Secretary, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said:
“We are determined to help a new generation realise the dream of home ownership which is why we are determined to see 300,000 new homes built a year by the mid-2020s.
“The Land Hub will help match developers to sites where they can build the properties communities need.”
Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of Homes England, said:
“Bringing another 148 sites to market demonstrates the scale of Homes England’s ambition to unlock land and accelerate the delivery of homes the country needs.
“We are keen to speak to developers about the opportunities in our latest pipeline and want to collaborate with both major developers and smaller builders to create a more resilient housing market.”
Nick Walkley, Chief Executive of Homes England, said:
“This partnership provides another great opportunity for Homes England to intervene in the housing market and make homes happen.
“By combining our skills and expertise with the DIO to progress brownfield sites no longer needed by the Ministry of Defence, we will speed up the process of providing much-needed homes.”