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To his credit, however, Grant Shapps is not only publishing details of land to be released by his Homes & Communities Agency, but also introducing a radical “Build Now, Pay Later” deal, which will allow housebuilders to pay for the land only when building has been started. In this way, the government hopes it can raise as much as £10 billion, which will be earmarked for cutting the massive debt that the government is committed to reducing. This is why the government has announced that there is now a presumption in


favour of sustainable development, encouraging councils to approve schemes wherever possible. Such is the speed with which everything can change that the Homes & Communities Agency exceeded its target for housing starts in the financial year to the end of March 2011 by as much as 65 per cent, having started work on a total of 57,605 new homes against a target of 34,982. It also broke its target of 62,495 housing completions with a total of 64,242 new homes, compared to just 56,154 completions a year ago. It even broke its three-year target of 8,500 new rural homes, delivering a total of 8,993 new homes between 2008 and 2011. The increase in repossessions shows that all is not


well with the housing market. The Carvill Group, which had residential and commercial construction projects in Northern Ireland, England and Scotland, was placed in administration in May this year. The UK arm of the Irish development group Glenkerrin, was also placed in administration in May, two years after the company had received planning consent to build a 62-storey tower on the site of the City Pride pub in Canary Wharf. When the McInerney Group went into administration


in April this year, seven companies were affected, including Alexander Developments, Bowey Homes, Gold homes, Lancing Homes and William Hargreaves Limited. However, one company within the group remained solvent. This was Ludgate Hill Developments Limited, which had ten residential sites with a combined development value of £100 million. In April this year, the Miller Group won the management contract to develop these sites, with the aim of maximising the return to creditors. Michael Hanson can be contacted on mhanson@propertywriters.com


sh showhouse July 2011 | 27


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