Localis essay collection unwraps new ideas to kickstart C19 housing recovery





Independent think-tank Localis has today set out an ambitious set of innovative and practical ideas from itself and 20 leading housing experts detailing how a housebuilding-led recovery could drive economic and social renewal as the nation emerges from the Covid-19 lockdown.

The proposals and suggestions are contained in an essay collection entitled Building for renewal: Kickstarting the C19 housing recovery” which encompasses how housing policy and the planning system could be directed to promoting opportunity and prosperity, building sustainable communities as well as supporting lives and engaging with society during the recovery.

Contributions for promoting opportunity and prosperity include suggestions for investment in a new generation of social housing and bringing forward council housebuilding investment programmes; provision of key worker housing; risk-sharing and flexibility of tenures and levelling up housing through wider access to the new Single Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Calls for better place-led investment include arguments for: -

  • Protecting social investment and new partnership models for investment;

Extending the role of Homes England as housing accelerator with new powers over surplus public sector land and support of spatial plan delivery;

Supporting SMEs to accelerate growth and the role of garden settlements;

Finding new forms of funding to inject new liquidity into the housing market – including the use of SIPPs for residential property investment, greater deployment of patient capital for social investment and pension fund investment.

Suggestions for using the housing agenda to support the vulnerable and engage better with society include: -

  • Innovative approaches to tackling the challenges of an ageing society;

Reaching younger people and those from diverse background to contribute to planning for a green future;

  • Use of digital engagement in building trust and embedding social value in development.

Essays exploring the role of the planning system in creating successful and sustainable communities include arguments for: -

  • Extending planning permissions for a further 12 months and making build-out a pre-requisite of Government funding or planning permissions;
  • Granting short-term planning freedoms including an extension of permitted development rights as part of a programme to deliver long-term housing growth;
  • Case for demanding spatial plans be produced by infrastructure authorities to support “good growth” and as a pre-requisite for additional Government funding;
  • The digital transformation of planning and empowerment of local authorities to plan pro-actively.

Cllr Paul Carter, chairman of the Localis C19 Housing Commission, said: “In Britain, we have a housing and construction industry to be proud of and the challenges it faces are very real. As a local government leader and senior councillor for many years, and with a lifelong career as a housebuilder, I have experienced at first hand significant economic recessions.

“This report presents an array of innovation, ideas and recommendations to kickstart the housebuilding recovery and get the national economy firing again on all cylinders.”

Localis chief executive, Jonathan Werran, said: “Given the gravity of the situation we find ourselves in, housing’s fundamental social and economic role and transformative capacity to drive change and growth assumes even greater significance.

“What was already a radical and exciting agenda for housing in the aftermath of last December’s general election result now becomes a pivotal ‘win or lose’ moment for national renewal.

“This paper sets out astute and creative thoughts from a broad range of individual experts and organisations as to how we might use the primacy of place to direct a return to housing growth.

“Uniquely, by kickstarting housebuilding we can directly unlock recovery in ways that can not only overcome entrenched economic difficulties, but also renew our communities, helping society improve on what was before and genuinely build back better.”

Press enquiries:

Jonathan Werran, chief executive, Localis
(Telephone) 0870 448 1530 / (Mobile) 07967 100328 / (Email) jonathan.werran@localis.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

  1. A full copy of the essay collection can be downloaded here:

Building for renewal: Kickstarting the C19 housing recovery

  1. Key principles and themes:

Part A: The Role of Housing in Promoting Opportunity and Prosperity for All

  • Investment in new generation of social housing and bringing forward council housebuilding investment programmes;
  • Provision of key worker housing;
  • Risk sharing and flexibility of tenures;
  • Renewed spirit of public/private collaboration;
  • Leadership in placemaking;
  • Investment in communities;
  • Levelling up housing and wider access to the new Single Housing Infrastructure Fund.

Part B: The Role of Investment in Place in Leading Renewal

  • Protecting social investment and new partnership models for investment.

Extending the role of Homes England as housing accelerator with new powers over surplus public sector land and support of spatial plan delivery.

Why supporting SMEs can accelerate growth and the role of garden settlements.

  • Finding new forms of funding to inject new liquidity into the housing market – including the use of SIPPs for residential property investment, greater deployment of patient capital for social investment and pension fund investment.

Part C: The Role of Housing in Supporting the Most Vulnerable And Engaging in Society

  • Innovative approaches to tackling the challenges of an ageing society;

Reaching younger people and those from diverse background to contribute to planning for a green future;

  • Use of digital engagement in building trust and embedding social value in development.

Part D: The Role of Planning in creating successful and sustainable communities

Themes include:

  • Extending planning permissions for a further 12 months and making build-out a pre-requisite of Government funding or planning permissions.
  • Granting short-term planning freedoms including an extension of permitted development rights as part of a programme to deliver long-term housing growth.
  • Implications of local authorities offering tenure blind planning and development and whether homes for older people should be included in housebuilding delivery figures.
  • Case for demanding spatial plans be produced by infrastructure authorities to support “good growth” and as a pre-requisite for additional Government funding.
  • The digital transformation of planning and empowerment of local authorities to plan pro-actively.
  1. “Building for renewal: Kickstarting the C19 housing recovery” – Essayists and contributors
  • Barton Willmore (Iain Painting, Senior Partner & Robin Shepherd, Partner)
  • The Berkeley Group (Tony Pidgeley CBE, Chairman)
  • Cascade Communications (Emma Waterfall, Managing Director)
  • Cheyne Capital (Darren Carter, Investment Director, Social Property
  • Connected Places Catapult (Erin Walsh, Director of Built Environment & Bin Guan, Built Environment Researcher)
  • Countryside (Andrew Taylor, Head of Planning)
  • Developers East Sussex (Jonathan Buckwell)
  • DHA Planning (Mark Bewsey, Planning Director)
  • Essex Developers Group (Mark Curle)
  • Grant Thornton LLP UK (Paul Dossett, Head of Local Government)
  • Homes for the North (Nigel Wilson, Chair)
  • Iceni Projects Ltd (Nick Ireland, Planning Director)
  • Kent Developers Group (Nick Kenton)
  • Local Government Association (Cllr David Renard, Chairman, Environment, Economy, Housing and Transport Board)
  • National Housing Federation (Lawrence Morris, Policy Officer)
  • Planning Officer's Society (Catriona Riddell, National Strategic Planning Specialist)
  • Platform Housing Group (Elizabeth Froude, Group Chief Executive)
  • Quinn Estates (Mark Quinn, CEO/Chairman)
  • Royal Town Planning Institute (Richard Blyth, Head of Policy)
  • UK Regeneration (Jackie Sadek, COO)
  • University of Kent (Professor Cllr Samer Bagaeen)
  • Willmott Dixon (Andrew Geldard, Chief Communications Officer)
  1. About Localis

Who we are

We are an independent, cross-party, leading not-for-profit think tank that was established in 2001. Our work promotes neo-localist ideas through research, events and commentary, covering a range of local and national domestic policy issues.

Neo-localism

Our research and policy programme is guided by the concept of neo-localism. Neo-localism is about giving places and people more control over the effects of globalisation. It is positive about promoting economic prosperity, but also enhancing other aspects of people’s lives such as family and culture. It is not anti-globalisation, but wants to bend the mainstream of social and economic policy so that place is put at the centre of political thinking.

In particular our work is focused on the following areas:

  • Decentralising political economy. Developing and differentiating regional economies and an accompanying devolution of democratic leadership.
  • Empowering local leadership. Elevating the role and responsibilities of local leaders in shaping and directing their place.
  • Extending local civil capacity. The mission of the strategic authority as a convener of civil society; from private to charity sector, household to community.
  • Reforming public services. Ideas to help save the public services and institutions upon which many in society depend.

What we do

We publish research throughout the year, from extensive reports to shorter pamphlets, on a diverse range of policy areas.

We run a broad events programme, including roundtable discussions, panel events and an extensive party conference programme.

We also run a membership network of local authorities and corporate fellows.

www.localis.org.uk

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Localis, on Thursday 25 June, 2020. For more information subscribe and follow https://pressat.co.uk/


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Localis essay collection unwraps new ideas to kickstart C19 housing recovery