This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
6 industry news HOUSING MINISTER


Lewis welcomes housebuilding surge


ministerial responsibility for planning and hous- ing at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). There was some confusion when it was ini-


A


tially thought that Mark Francois MP, who was appointed as Minister of State at the DCLG, had been given the housing and planning briefs. It was later confirmed that Brandon Lewis would continue as Planning and Housing Minister. It was good timing for Lewis who was then able to welcome new figures showing a surge in


GOVERNMENT APPOINTMENT Greg Clark tells departments to ‘loosen their grip’


Government, Greg Clark has alreay made his first announcement. Promoted from a ministerial role at the


N


Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Greg Clark will head the department responsible for creating ‘great places to live and work, The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), which has also recently assumed responsibility for architecture policy. Speaking ahead of the first meeting of a dedi-


cated ministerial Housing Taskforce, he urged departments to ‘loosen their grip’ on sites that are standing idle so they can be released for new housebuilding. This is linked with the target to release enough land for 150,000 homes by 2020. He has also called on England’s 326 councils


HELP TO BUY Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme success story T


he Department for Communities and Local Government housing market sta- tistical release on 30 April reported the


continued success story of the government’s Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme. It was the seventh release covering Help to Buy:


respond online at www.hbdonline.co.uk


Equity Loan and confirmed that in the first two years of the scheme (to 31 March 2015), 47,018 properties have been bought with an equity loan. The total value of these equity loans was £1.99


billion and the value of the properties sold under the scheme totaled £10.01 billion. The mean


purchase price of a property bought under the scheme was £212,932. Most of the home purchases in the Help to


Buy: Equity Loan scheme were made by first- time buyers. This accounted for 38,703 (82 per cent) of total purchases.


ot resting on his laurels, newly appointed Secretary of State for Communities and Local


to follow the government’s lead and look at the land assets they hold, saying: “The chance to own your own home should be available to everyone who works hard and aspires to. That is what a government for working people is about – making sure people have the security they need to build a brighter future for them and their families. “The scale of our ambition is clear – to release


enough surplus and redundant public sector land for 150,000 homes over the next five years. I want to see departments going further and faster than before, starting right away, to loosen their grip on sites that are standing idle and to turn them over for housebuilding. “Councils are significant landowners and


town halls should be looking at their estate, particularly brownfield sites, and thinking about how they could make better use of their


holdings by releasing land for new homes for their communities.” Previously, Greg


Clark held the posts of minister for decentrali- sation at DCLG, and minister for cities at the Cabinet Office, and his appointment is being


seen as strengthening the regional and cities devolution agenda. Industry bodies reacted positively to his


appointment with Federation of Master Builders CEO, Brian Ferry saying: “Greg Clark played a crucial role in putting in place the National Planning Policy Framework and we welcome his appointment as state secretary for communities and local government.”


s many old faces left and new faces joined the government’s all Conserva- tive cabinet Brandon Lewis retained


the numbers of new homes being built across the country. Housebuilding figures showed that starts had


more than doubled since those seen during the same period in 2009 – with both starts and com- pletions rising over the past year. The numbers of homes completed has also


risen sharply, to their highest levels for nearly six years. In the year to March, work started on 140,500


homes – 5 per cent higher than during the previ- ous year. Over 40,000 homes were started between January and March this year – 31 per cent higher


than the same period in 2014, and 136 per cent higher than the same period in 2009. This means housing starts are at their highest level since 2007. Speaking about the figures Brandon Lewis


said: “Housebuilding is at the heart of our plan to ensure the recovery reaches all parts of our country. We’re turning around an industry that was devastated and getting the country building again. Today’s figures show these efforts are reap- ing results, with housebuilding starts having more than doubled since 2009, and completions at their highest for nearly six years. “It is vital we maintain this momentum,


getting workers back on sites and homes built – giving more people the chance to own their own home.” Although the reappointment of Brandon


Lewis as Housing Minister will provide some continuity for the housing sector he will report to a new Communities and Local Government Secretary in Greg Clark MP, who replaced Eric Pickles in the cabinet reshuffle.


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68