Freeing up brownfield land key to affordable housing delivery – RICS

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) urged the Government to adopt additional measures to speed up affordable housebuilding ahead of the Housing White Paper and the Autumn Statement.

RICS said ministers should release more brownfield land to developers and consider private sites alongside public land for housing. The Government should also invest more into councils’ planning departments to speed up the approval of applications.

The Institute said there must be “a clear distinction” between developers able to deliver homes and those involved in land banking schemes. This can be done by introducing a policy forcing landowners to build within two to three years of receiving permission, or sell to others capable to do so.

The Institute also urged the Cabinet to take a stake in projects funded by the £2bn accelerated construction pot announced earlier this month and called on the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) to draw up a nationwide plan for the release of land suitable for housebuilding.