1: ‘Neighbourhoods, Planning and Housing Supply’ – DCLG, London, 13th March 2015

Many thanks to those who turned up to the first event – it was over-subscribed!

We are still finalising the policy briefs but a short film of the day is being prepared, to include at least some of the “snapshots” given at the end.

All of the “snapshots” are available under Seminar 1, here http://spsheff.wix.com/neighbourhood

Thank you so much for your time and engagement.

See our blogs from the event here

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Seminar 1: Neighbourhoods, Planning and Housing Supply

Venue: Department for Communities and Local Government, 2 Marsham Street, London, 13th March 2015, 10am-4pm

In 2013-14, 112,630 homes were built in the UK. Although this was the highest level since the 2008 crash, this rate of new supply is still 100,000 units lower than the annual rate of new household formation. It remains evident that the housing supply challenge is persistent and is potentially reaching crisis point. With the Localism Act, new neighbourhood planning arrangements, the potential to access to New Homes Bonus revenues and proposals to pilot a Development Benefits policy, neighbourhood groups have been given greater scope, more levers and incentives to engage with debates about new development and growth strategies. Neighbourhoods no longer represent NIMBY opposition but now offer proactive solutions. This seminar asks: how can we deliver more new homes? Central to the discussion will be the question: how can neighbourhoods be a space where solutions are found and problems solved? What do neighbourhood groups need to know? What might they offer?

Participants are invited to contribute to a root and branch analysis of the housing supply problem and to help suggest new solutions that look beyond the default focus on the planning system. Speakers from the academy, policy, practice and business communities have been invited to offer a range of perspectives on this issue. The papers will seek to shed light on a set of inter-related questions including:

  • What are the barriers to new supply and how can they be overcome? How do we unlock development land? Do we know enough about the workings of the land market, land ownership structures and the attitudes and motives of key market actors? Does community land help? Is the finance system fit for purpose and can we align finance with local priorities? What do these issues mean for those working at neighbourhood levels?
  • How effective have neighbourhood (Neighbourhood Plans), local (LEP Strategies, City Deals, Housing Companies) and national (New Homes Bonus, NPPF, etc) policy interventions been? Should policy-makers do more or less? What are the appropriate scales for interventions to support the delivery of new homes? Are there lessons to be learned from other countries?
  • What role might different stakeholders play moving forward? Should Local Authorities think differently about housing delivery? Are builders’ business models fit for purpose? Can Small builders do more? Can self-build or co-op models help?

The concluding session will reflect on what this might mean for those working at neighbourhood level and what exchange of knowledge might be required to tackle issues related to housing supply and economic growth

Attendance is free. Those wishing to attend should email Colin Lorne at neighbourhoodworking@gmail.com or complete the ‘Book a place’ page to reserve a place. Attendance will be limited to 48 participants and places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Assistance with travel expenses for PhD students may be available; please get in touch via email.

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