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Agents tell Gove they’re disappointed with housing pledges

Propertymark has branded the plans by Housing Secretary Michael Gove to increase housebuilding “disappointing”.

Nathan Emerson, Propertymark chief executive, says: “The UK government's commitment to building more homes is disappointing. In order to provide the homes the country needs, plans need to be more ambitious and government must go faster and further to achieve this.

“Avoiding a fragmented approach is key, as well as having housing targets that are linked to tenure to meet the demand in different areas across the country. Housing reforms must also reflect societal change, help tackle the climate emergency, involve the tax system, meet the needs of older people and ultimately provide more affordable options, whilst protecting the green belt.


“Changes to the private rented sector in England have been long awaited and it is positive to hear that the UK government is looking to ensure that good landlords and agents are supported in these proposals.

"The private rented sector is crucial to a well-functioning housing market so a whole-scale long-term plan involving tax reform and clarity on energy efficiency targets is needed to address the imbalance in high demand and low housing supply and incentivise investment for property agents and their landlords.

“It is encouraging to see that further leasehold law changes are on the cards as it’s imperative that the reforms reduce costs for consumers and create a level playing field with those who already own a leasehold property. Furthermore, we welcome the proposals for a new design code to improve the quality of new homes and the inclusion of new support to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder.”

Earlier this week Gove revealed that the government would switch emphasis to try to get more new-build homes in cities rather than generally across all areas of the country. 

He added he would be "using all of the levers that we have to promote urban regeneration rather than swallowing up virgin land".

As part of his plan he wanted to making it easier to convert shops, takeaways and betting shops into homes.

Gove also wanted to ease rules on constructing domestic extensions to commercial buildings and repurposing agricultural buildings.

In order to speed up big developments, the government will invest £24m to train up planning authorities and £13.5m for what it calls a "super squad" of planners to unblock certain projects - Cambridge, where the government wants to create a “new urban quarter” will be the first destination of this new squad.


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