John Elliott, Managing Director of Millwood Designer Homes comments: “We welcome many of the proposals in today’s Housing White Paper including a standardised way of consulting housing demand and each local authority producing then reviewing it every five years, and the need to build at higher density and taller. I also support the presumption to build on brownfield land and the Lifetime ISA which will undoubtedly help first time buyers get on the property ladder. I believe the Starter Home Initiative is achievable, providing the cost of the land is of a sub-market value, to enable the homes to be delivered and available within the price limits of up to £450,000 in London and £250,000 outside.
However, I am concerned about the announcement to allow councils to issue completion notices demanding builders start building within two years rather than three. This is fraught with danger and will suppress housebuilding rather than ensure the government’s housebuilding targets are achieved. Once planning has been granted on a site, it can take 18 to 24 months before the planning conditions are satisfied, and to ask housebuilders to spend huge sums to secure planning over sometimes several years for councils to then decide the development is not valid on the new timetable, is unacceptable.”