Spotlight On Solutions To The Housing Crisis

A generational injustice is manifesting itself as more and more young people’s dreams of buying their own homes are crushed by the dramatic rise in house prices due to the lack of supply of land caused by planning policy, according to the Land Promoters and Developers Federation (LPDF).

LPDF chairman Paul Brocklehurst told delegates at the organisation’s first ever annual conference that the 500% increase in average house prices over the past 30 years has left many feeling excluded from the possibility of owning their own home.

The worsening UK housing crisis, its impact on society, and the need to significantly increase the supply of new homes, will come under the spotlight today at the conference at 30 Euston Square, London.

The LPDF is working with government, local authorities and communities to enhance the planning process, and help deliver the new homes and communities the UK needs.

Kevin Hollinrake MP, member of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, and David Smith, economics editor of The Sunday Times, were among the guest speakers at the event – Land Promoters and the Delivery of New Homes.

LPDF chairman Paul Brocklehurst said: “Let us be in no doubt that there is a crisis. The average house price has increased by 500% in 30 years, the price of that average home is now in excess of eight times average salaries effectively doubling over that period and is considerably more in certain areas. 

“The average age of first time buyers has increased from 27 years to close to 35 years and, as a consequence, generations, particularly in the South East of England, now feel they are excluded from owning their own home. This is yet another area of our society in which a generational injustice is manifesting itself.”

He added: “The crisis inhibits our economy, high housing costs restrict the ability of consumers to spend whilst a lack of supply inhibits labour market mobility. Conversely, increased new build activity has a significantly positive multiplier effect on the economy.

“Yet just as important is the human and social cost. Research paper after research paper highlights the benefits to health and in particular mental health of good quality housing.  It seems clear that resolving the crisis must be at the top of the political agenda of Government.  Nationally there needs to be a cultural change as to how we view new housing and politicians at all levels of government, central and local, need to prioritise the needs and views of those that don’t have a home above those that do.”

The worsening of the UK housing crisis is well recognised, with the Government vowing to deliver 300,000 new homes every year. LPDF members play a critical role in identifying, assembling and preparing land for the housebuilding sector, in order to improve the supply of new homes.

“At our first ever annual conference, we will be joined by the UK’s leading specialist land promoters, sector experts, senior councillors and policymakers to put the spotlight on the housing crisis and discuss how we can tackle this crucial issue,” added Paul.

Launched just a year ago, LPDF membership has grown and now includes some of the best-known names in land promotion and housing development. Members are working to help shape national and local policy on issues affecting the sector.

LPDF members specialise in the promotion and development of strategic land, delivering sites from 30 new homes to larger scale sites of up to 10,000, alongside associated community facilities, employment and supporting infrastructure.

Paul added: “Unfortunately, the role land promoters play in the delivery of housing, infrastructure and entire new communities is often misunderstood.  This, and the complicated and lengthy nature of the planning system, is commonly blamed for the supply of housing not meeting the demand for new homes.

“We are becoming a powerful voice in the debate around the housing shortage and ways in which we can improve the supply of land for development.   We want to dispel some of the myths and misconceptions around the role of land promoters and developers by highlighting the expertise and track record of our members.”