200,000 New Homes Per Year is Not Enough

The UK Government's proposal to build 200,000 new homes each year is 100,000 short of the number actually needed, according to Aston Mead Land and Planning who are one of the leading land brokers in the Home Counties.

They believe that the UK requires 300,000 new homes to be built every year in order to meet demand, with the Government's own target falling far too low according to their analysis. Aston Mead are not the only organisation that agrees with this claim, with others such as the Economic Affairs Committee for the House of Lords also chiming in to agree that the current target of 200,000 is simply too low.

Government Targets Not Even Being Met

What is particularly worrying is that the Government's target of 200,000 is not even being met, with only 160,000 new homes built during 2015.

Aston Mead's Director of Land and Planning, Charles Hesse, spoke of the disparity between the already too low target and the even lower reality, saying, "The last time the UK built more than 200,000 homes a year it was post-war, and there was a massive council housing programme under way. So we need radical changes in the way that we approach house-building, to enable construction to take place at a much faster rate."

Aston Mead's 3-Point Plan to Build More Homes

Mr Hesse proposed a plan consisting of three phases which would produce enough money to cover the construction of the extra homes as well as identify and acquire the land to build on. He believes that a National House-building Fund can help fund public sector commissioning for the first phase, while developers should also look to build on certain areas of the green belt which he believes would actually be improved by development. The third part of his plan is that lands owned by local authorities that are otherwise sitting idle should also be used to build the new homes on.

Mr Hesse said, "Borrowing costs are at rock-bottom, and something in the region of £20 billion would cover the cost of constructing 100,000 homes, which could be sold direct into owner occupation."

Speaking about the development on certain parts of the green belt, Mr Hesse added, "Whilst some of it should be preserved at all costs, other areas would actually be improved by being built on. There are 514,000 hectares of green belt surrounding London. You only need a tiny fraction of that to more than satisfy housing supply. A lot of authorities are not planning for enough houses, and they are not getting enough challenges from the planning inspectors about how to do it. And if that means an intervention from central Government, then so be it. Ultimately, we need to double the current rate of construction."

Aston Mead believe that the house-building initiative needs a radical overhaul, without which their target of 300,000 new homes will never become a reality, and it's hard to argue with that when the Government can't even reach its own target of 200,000.