Bruton Knowles is backing the Government’s latest campaign to encourage SME builders to take a greater role in delivering new homes across the South East.
With national housebuilders widely perceived to be dragging their feet - despite holding land capable of delivering more than half a million new homes - the Government is looking to smaller builders to step in the breach.
Fraser Castle, Partner at Bruton Knowles’ Guildford office, said the Government’s latest moves to free the new home logjam would see smaller builders and developers encouraged to get cracking on publically-owned Brownfield sites.
The Government has also set up a £1.2 billion fund to help small builders get around some of the problems associated with formerly used sites.
Fraser said: “Despite remaining a favoured location for development – both residential and commercial - the South East still has retains significant levels of Brownfield site availability.
“Historically, it has been difficult for developers, builders and local government to keep tabs on the Brownfield sector. It is difficult to quote prices per acre as every site is different.
“But the Government’s announcement that these publically-owned sites will carry an automatic planning permission will encourage more developers to get involved.”
The latest move has been prompted by the Government’s increasing frustration with the big UK housebuilders who they perceive are failing to make sufficient progress building the new homes the country needs – despite holding extensive land banks capable of delivering more than half a million new homes.
Fraser went on: “Brownfield land with planning permission for housing can generally be bought more cheaply than other land. But it’s cheaper for a reason. Usually because it has additional development costs associated with it – typically demolition of existing commercial buildings and possible contamination costs are examples.
“So whilst land costs might be cheaper, build costs can be more expensive. That is where the latest Government housing initiative may prove effective in bringing the more difficult sites back into the public realm and providing much needed new homes.”
Fraser Castle said developing Brownfield sites was very often welcomed by neighbouring communities.
“As well as clearing up eyesore or abandoned sites, these developments are welcomed for ending speculation surrounding them and returning much needed space to the public realm."
“It also helps reduce demand for new housing on our green space.”