Local industry figures react to Cameron’s housing vision

David Cameron unveiled government plans to build 200,000 new “affordable” homes during his speech at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester yesterday.

Alongside this pledge, the Prime Minister announced that builders in England would no longer be required to offer low cost rented homes in new developments.

He told delegates: “I can announce a dramatic shift in housing policy in our country.”

“Those old rules which said to developers: you can build on this site, but only if you build affordable homes for rent. We’re replacing them with new rule. You can build here, and those affordable homes can be available to buy.”

Your Move spoke to some local property and business figures to find out what the proposals could mean for Merseyside.

Kevin Ross, partner at Brown Turner Ross Solicitors, says: “The Prime Minister is making a sweeping announcement about building affordable homes, which I am all for, however there are issues that need to be addressed in terms of reforming planning laws to make bringing brownfield land into re-use or indeed opening the debate about building on greenbelt land.”

“We represent a number of developers who specialise in affordable homes, and often the planning process can be longer than necessary, especially in rural areas where affordable housing is a major issue.”

Sean Marshall, managing director of Marshall Properties, says: “To support the Prime Minister’s plans we need to see more being done to increase lending to first time buyers and second steppers”

“It is still too difficult for people to qualify for a mortgage and the deposits the majority of banks and financial institutions require are still too high. It is great that the prime minister is trying to help developers build more homes but the real question is how accessible in terms of finance are these homes going to be to the average buyer.”

Jayne Holley, general manager at Atrium, adds: “As a developer working on new build homes throughout the North West, the news that David Cameron will focus on ensuring people can get on the housing ladder is a positive one. The plan to build 200,000 affordable starter homes – instead of the policy already in place in which builders had to offer low-cost rented homes on new developments – could provide ‘Generation Rent’ with the actual reality of owning their own home.”

About Author: Lawrence Saunders

Lawrence is a journalist at Your Move. He can be contacted via email at lawrence@movepublishing.co.uk or by phone on 0151 709 3871.