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Homes England reveals ambitious pipeline of home development opportunities

Some 1,250 hectares of surplus public land on 221 sites will be made available for new home building in England over the next 12 months, it has been announced.

Homes England, the Government agency charged with bringing a more commercial approach to land development on surplus public land, aims to speed up bringing the sites to market.

Data from it Land Development and Disposal Plan reveals that there will be 63 sites available in the North East, Yorkshire and the Humber, 48 in the Midlands, 44 in the South West, 33 in the North West and 33 in the South East.

They include landholdings that have been identified as being of importance locally or nationally, and sites that have potential for development, predominantly for housing, but also for some commercial and amenity uses.

To support its ambitious disposal plans, Homes England said it will provide improved technical packs and site information as well as a standard Building Lease to ensure a consistent approach across the country. These will incorporate clear approaches to the pace of build out, Modern Methods of Construction, design and quality of place and tenure mix.

‘As part of Homes England’s expanded remit, we will be much more active in the land market, using our increased resources to ramp up the acquisition of land opportunities and developing new ways to partner other Government departments to bring forward more sites more quickly,’ said Stephen Kinsella, executive director of land at Homes England,.

‘We are ambitious about our disposals for the year ahead so we’re really keen to talk to developers about the opportunities in our latest plan,’ he added.

He also explained that Homes England will act differently from its predecessor, bringing together money, land, expertise and planning and compulsory purchase powers to accelerate the supply of new homes and address affordability issues in areas of highest demand.

Homes England is a significant public sector landowner with a varied and complex land and property portfolio that is spread across a wide geography over England, excluding London. The portfolio comprises former New Town land, coalfield sites, assets inherited from the former Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) and sites acquired from other public landowners including from the Ministry of Defence and the Department of Health.