Who Is The LPDF?
The Land Promoters & Developers Federation (LPDF) is a collection of the UK’s leading land promotion and development businesses. LPDF members specialise in the promotion and development of predominantly strategic land across the UK, delivering from circa 30 new home sites to larger scale sites of up to 10,000 new homes alongside associated community facilities, employment and supporting infrastructure.
What Do They Do?
LPDF members support the housebuilding sector providing “oven ready” land with planning permission that can easily be acquired and built out by national and regional housebuilders, helping bring homes to the market in a timely manner to meet local need.
Land sites include both greenfield and brownfield land, often requiring significant investment in infrastructure and decontamination.
Approaches to engaging with housebuilders varies depending on the scale of development. Some land promoters and developers will sell land once consented to housebuilders, with some acting as Master Developers providing infrastructure such as schools and sports facilities, before selling serviced land parcels to multiple housebuilders, therefore enabling faster delivery and bringing new homes to the market quickly.
- To achieve planning permission and provide housebuilders with a supply of consented land for the delivery of homes in a timely manner to help address the undersupply of housing in the UK.
- Dispel the myths and misconceptions of the role of land promoters and developers in housing delivery.
- Enhance the current debate on housing supply and be part of the process for finding solutions to solve the housing crisis.
LPDF Key Messages
Land promoters and developers represent the largest group of businesses supporting planning for new housing. Responsible for around 50% of all work on pre-application sites, where the potential of land is explored with Local Planning Authorities, engaging with Local Plans in order to progress plan-led growth.
Land promoters and developers are supporting the UK housing land supply. Outside of London there are 541,000 dwellings with outline planning permission on sites of over 100 units. Specialist land promoters and developers are responsible for securing outline planning permission for 41% of these homes compared to 32% for volume housebuilders.
Delivering affordable homes. Members of the LPDF are committed to delivering social benefits, including the provision of affordable housing. Evidence shows the vast majority of schemes progressed by members of the LPDF meet policy requirements for affordable housing.
Delivering land quickly. About 40% of residential units on sites over 1,000 units have involved an active specialist land promoter and developer dealing with the technical work and planning risk to obtain outline planning permission, meaning housebuilders can get onsite and start building quicker.
Working together. Land promoters and developers work with Local Authorities and communities to win local consensus for developments through good design and both on site and off site benefits. Overwhelmingly, most promoters’ schemes that secure planning consent are approved at a local level, with 94% of units on schemes of over 100 units being approved by Councils, not by way of Appeal.
Supporting Government policy. The LPDF support the Government policy on housing and planning, preferring a plan-led system that recognises housing needs and supports Local Authorities in allocating land for development and identifying the need for delivering the key infrastructure required for well-designed new homes and communities.
Increasing diversity in the housebuilding industry. LPDF members promote land of all sizes, which appeals to a full range of housebuilders from SMEs right up to the largest in the country. As well as attracting SME bids on smaller sites, LPDF members increase the pace of delivery and offer opportunities to different sectors of the housebuilding industry by subdividing larger sites into smaller deliverable parcels.
Commissioned by the LPDF, the report explores the role of specialist land promoters and developers in delivering much needed homes across England. The study identifies that land promoters are responsible for around 50% of all work on pre-application sites, exploring the potential of land with local planning authorities.
Of the total stock of permissions (some 541,000 dwellings with outline permission on sites of over 100 units), over half are on sites over 1,000 units which will inevitably be developed over a number years.
The report confirms that about 40% of homes on sites over 1,000 units have had an active specialist land promoter driving forward the site. Insofar as there is a clear Government agenda to accelerate the pace of delivery on larger sites, specialist land promoters and developers are clearly aligned to this objective.
Budget 2018: Developer Contributions
The LPDF believes that development should always benefit the local community it affects, and we are unequivocal supporters of the principle that those responsible for development should bear the cost of associated infrastructure.
Under the current system contributions made by land promoters and developers via Section 106 agreements, Community Infrastructure Levy payments, site remediation and enabling, and affordable housing amount to, on average, 50% of the uplift in land value. The current system is working well but could be improved.
The LPDF is encouraged that the government is implementing measures to do this, including removing pooling restrictions on Section 106 payments for a single piece of infrastructure. We would suggest that another priority area should be addressing the low uptake and underspend of CIL by local authorities.
However, when exploring new ways for land value to be captured for the public good the government should be extremely wary of disincentivising landowners from bringing forward their land for housing. This could result in a tightening of the supply of suitable land to support the homes the country needs.
Budget 2018: Investment To Increase The Supply Of Housing
We are encouraged to see a number of fiscal measures announced by the Chancellor aimed at achieving the government’s target of 300,000 homes a year – a target that the LPDF supports.
The LPDF welcomes the government’s further £500m investment in the Housing Infrastructure Fund, taking the total pot to £5.5 billion, and hopes that local authorities will continue to bid for the available funding.
Other measures to boost housing supply, including lifting the borrowing cap for councils to build, have our support and demonstrate that the government recognises the extent to which the supply of housing must be increased.
Response To The Letwin Review Into Build Out Rates
Land banking: The LPDF supports Sir Oliver Letwin’s conclusion that speculative land banking is not part of developers’ business models and is not a factor in slowing build out rates. Land promoters and developers rely on the timely sale of land and the building of houses in order to be viable businesses.
Diversification: The LPDF welcomes Sir Oliver Letwin’s aim to increase diversity of tenure on large sites.
Land promoters already do this by enabling a variety of housebuilders to come into the mix, including small and medium sized, by taking on the substantial risk of bringing land through the costly and time-consuming planning process, providing them with ‘oven-ready’ land. Smaller, regional housebuilders often do not have the skills, capacity or ability to promote strategic land, making our role a crucial one to ensure diversity in the housing industry.
Sir Oliver is right to specify that his recommendations apply to large sites in ‘areas of high housing demand’. What works in one part of the country may not work in another, so it is right that the government builds in a degree of flexibility in planning policies to recognise differing local circumstances.
The LPDF looks forward to engaging again with Sir Oliver’s work when the government responds in February 2019.