Section 106 may be scrapped to boost building

Sarah Davidson

August 23, 2012

A government commissioned report by Sir Adrian Montague published today also suggested reviewing stalled sites to see whether some of the new homes planned could be made available to rent rather than sell.

It also highlights thepotential for investment in large-scale development of homes built specifically for private rent by professional organisations.

Other recommendations include that councils use flexibilities in the planning system to plan for and enable developments of privately rented homes where they can meet local need.

The report also suggests that a task force be set up to encourage and support build-to-let investment from the private sector, and to develop voluntary standards that future landlords would meet and tenants could expect.

It says the Government should look to provide a number of targeted incentives to encourage the development of build-to-let business models, which could include sharing development risk in the short-term to get spades in the ground and building started.

And it recommends the Government allocate some of the redundant, formerly used public sector land and buildings for housebuilding to build-to-let development, and publish data on how this is done.

Finally it says the Government should work with councils and the Greater London Authority to identify a number of sites where there is good demand for rental housing and make them available to developers on the grounds that a proportion of the homes built be let out to tenants.

Housing Minister Grant Shapps welcomed the recommendations saying the report offered “a blueprint” for encouraging more institutional investment into the sector.

Today’s report is the conclusion of Sir Adrian’s review, which was commissioned as part of the Government’s Housing Strategy in November. The Government will issue a formal response later this year.

Shapps said: “We’re determined to encourage greater investment in the build-to-let market and boost the country’s Private Rented Sector, which plays an integral role in meeting the nation’s housing needs and aspirations. In the past it’s often been seen as the Cinderella of the housing market, but when over three million people rely on this sector for their home, this is clearly no longer the case.

“A major part of this is to attract and encourage new players to the market, while at the same time avoiding the excessive regulation that would force up rents and reduce choice for tenants.

“Sir Adrian Montague’s findings offer both a blueprint for achieving this goal, and for setting the standards of accommodation that people should expect. I will be considering his recommendations very carefully.”

Sir Adrian Montague said: “It’s clear we must encourage investment in the private rented sector, which has gone through a period of rapid growth and is now relied upon by millions of people.

“My review shows that the rental housing sector offers potential investment opportunities of interest to institutional investors. But real momentum has been inhibited by constraints affecting the supply of stock, the treatment of rented housing schemes under the planning system and the need to create confidence among investors.

“The recommendations in today’s report are designed to challenge this, and remove the barriers that prevent the kind of investment that our private rented sector needs.”

Sign up to our daily email