Press release

Public land for housing target exceeded by the HCA

The Homes and Communities Agency has already exceeded its contribution to government’s target to release public land with capacity for 100,000 new homes; and expects to exceed it further by the end of March.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

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As at the end of February, the agency had released land with capacity for 18,307 new homes, across 119 individual sites, against a target of 17,727.

The HCA’s contribution – the second largest of any public body – has helped government to exceed its target of land for 100,000 homes, early and by more than 3,000 homes.

Of the sites released by the HCA, 48 have already seen development start on site, to support delivery of over 5,600 homes, increasing the supply of housing and supporting local economic growth, and with the remaining sites forming a pipeline of delivery over the next few years.

Chief Executive of the HCA, Andy Rose, said:

Bringing forward more land in public ownership for development and speeding up the rate at which it is made available is core business for the HCA. We have combined our strong relationships with local councils and developers with our experience of managing complex and varied sites, to make a significant contribution to government’s ambitions for new homes and local growth.

However there is more work to be done. Bringing land to the market is the start of the process and we will work with our partners, using our available funding and our local market knowledge to help maximise the number of new homes built in communities. Over 5,600 new homes have already started on site and we have a firm pipeline for future delivery.

From April 2011 to date the HCA has brought forward a total of 119 public land sites for development. It has also worked in a wider role with government departments to identify sites in their ownership suitable for development, advise on bringing them to market, and helping to unlock sites where necessary.

Of the HCA sites brought forward, 40 are in the north of England, with 38 in the midlands and 41 in the south. The sites include:

Manor Kingsway – Former hospital land in Derby being transformed and brought back into use to provide much-needed new housing, retail and commercial space, and a country park, supporting local jobs. The new homes have been designed to draw on the mill heritage of Derby and existing architectural influences across the site.

Lancaster Moor – A derelict former psychiatric hospital in Lancashire and a prominent local landmark being turned into a new community with 440 new homes. The HCA worked with English Heritage to prepare the site for development, making it more attractive to developers.

Centenary Quay – A former shipyard being transformed into a thriving mixed community, bringing much needed homes, jobs and prosperity into the deprived area of Woolston, Southampton. Overall the development is expected to create up to 1,000 new jobs.

Releasing land for development is part of the government’s long-term economic plan and from April 2015, the HCA will take on an even greater land disposal role, building on its strengths of bringing sites to market for development and its local market knowledge.

The agency uses flexible disposal mechanisms such as deferred receipts, which improve developer cash flows and can make marginal sites viable; and the Developer Partner Panel, a fast-track procurement process which can speed up and reduce the cost of procuring a development partner for the HCA and other public bodies.

The HCA’s current Land Development and Disposal Plan sets out over 200 sites that already being marketed, or are likely to be brought to market over the next 12 months.

Published 4 March 2015