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BSRIA welcomes government announcement of new starter homesJanuary 2017


Julia Evans OBE, Chief Executive, BSRIA
BSRIA has welcomed the government announcement that starter homes will be built this year after it chose 30 partner councils to progress the first discounted homes – in cities and regions across the country.

Gavin Barwell, Minister of State for Housing and Planning, said the homes would be sold exclusively to first time buyers between 23 and 40 years old, at a discount of at least 20 per cent below market value.

Brownfield sites are being prioritised for starter homes, with funding made available via the government’s £1.2bn Starter Homes Land Fund.

Mr Barwell said that this first wave of partnerships shows the strong local interest to build thousands of starter homes on hundreds of brownfield sites in the coming years.

The news comes in quick succession of Monday’s government announcement of the development of 14 new garden villages and three garden towns, with the capacity to deliver more than 48,000 homes.

Julia Evans, Chief Executive, BSRIA, said:
“BSRIA welcomes both of these announcements which suggest that tackling the housing crisis is on the government’s agenda for 2017 and is clearly a top priority. It also supports BSRIA’s long running coverage of the housing issue.

But building homes is a matter of quality as well as quantity. The focus on more volume makes quality more important than ever and an added emphasis on the status of the quality of homes is crucial to guarantee that in challenging the housing crisis we are not building the costly slums or soulless estates of tomorrow.

Some of the ‘offsite’ building and zero waste methods that are currently being adopted do signify an exciting movement which offer the potential for changes within the industry.

And of course government needs to offer the right framework for industry to address the ever increasing industry skills shortage to deliver such housing.

Government rhetoric has been going on forever: the proof will be in the pudding.”

The garden villages will have access to a £6m fund over the next two financial years to support the delivery of these projects. They are an expansion of the existing garden towns programme, for smaller projects of between 1,500 and 10,000 homes.

More details on both initiatives are anticipated later in January when the government publishes its housing white paper.

The 30 Starter Home Land Fund partnerships

  • Blackburn with Darwen Council
  • Blackpool Council
  • Bristol City Council
  • Central Bedfordshire Council
  • Cheshire West and Chester Council
  • Chesterfield Borough Council
  • Chichester District Council
  • City of Lincoln
  • Ebbsfleet Development Corporation
  • Fareham Borough Council
  • Gloucester City Council
  • Greater Manchester Combined Authority (Bolton, Bury, Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford, Wigan)
  • Lincolnshire County Council
  • Liverpool City Council (in association with Sefton, Knowsley, Halton, Wirral, St Helens)
  • Luton Borough Council
  • Mid Sussex District Council
  •  Middlesbrough Council
  • North Somerset Council
  • Northumberland County Council
  • Pendle Borough Council
  • Plymouth City Council
  • Rotherham Metropolitan Council
  • Rushmoor Borough Council
  • Sheffield City Council
  • South Kestevan District Council
  • South Ribble Borough Council (in association with Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council)
  • South Somerset District Council
  • Stoke-on-Trent City Council
  • West Somerset Council (in association with Taunton Deane Borough Council, Sedgemoor District Council)
  • Worthing Council

New garden villages and towns:

Garden villages:

  • Bailrigg in Lancaster
  • Culm in Mid Devon
  • Deenethorpe in East Northants
  • Dunton Hills near Brentwood, Essex
  • Halsnead in Knowsley, Merseyside
  • Infinity Garden Village in South Derbyshire and Derby City area
  • Long Marston in Stratford-on-Avon
  • Longcross in Runnymede and Surrey Heath
  • North Cheshire in Cheshire East
  • Oxfordshire Cotswold in West Oxfordshire
  • St Cuthberts near Carlisle City, Cumbria
  • Spitalgate Heath in South Kesteven, Lincolnshire
  • Welborne near Fareham in Hampshire
  • West Carclaze in Cornwall

Garden towns:

  • Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
  • Harlow & Gilston, Essex and Hertfordshire
  • Taunton, Somerset.
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