The Prime Minister has said that the government is to step in and directly commission thousands of new affordable homes at Old Oak Common.
The new policy will see the government fast-track building of affordable homes on publicly owned land, with the most significant site being Old Oak.
The direct commissioning approach has not been used on this scale since the regeneration of London’s docklands.
In addition, the Government announced a £1.2bn fund to build 30,000 affordable “Starter Homes” on underused brownfield land in the next five years.
The Government say that this “radical new policy shift, not used on this scale since Thatcher and Heseltine started the Docklands”, will see the government directly commission the building of homes on publicly owned land.
They hope that this will lead homes being built at a faster rate with smaller building firms – currently unable to take on big projects – able to get building on government sites where planning permission is already in place. The first wave of up to 13,000 will start on four sites outside of London in 2016 – but the approach will also be used at the Old Oak Common site.
The £1.2bn Starter Home Fund is to prepare brownfield sites for new homes. The Government hopes this will fast-track the creation of at least 30,000 new Starter Homes and up to 30,000 market homes on 500 new sites by 2020.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Today’s package signals a huge shift in government policy. Nothing like this has been done on this scale in three decades – government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built.
“Backed up with a further £1.2 billion to get homes built on brownfield sites, it shows we will do everything we can to get Britain building and let more people have the security that comes with a home of their own.”
Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “We’re pulling out all the stops to keep the country building with a clear ambition to deliver a million homes by 2020 and support hard-working people into home ownership.
“Today’s radical new approach will mean the Government will directly commission small and up-and-coming companies to build thousands of new homes on sites right across the country.
“This, and the £1.2billion new Starter Homes Fund, will help thousands of people to realise their dream of owning their own home.
“Currently the top eight house builders provide 50 per cent of new homes. The direct commissioning approach will support smaller builders and new entrants who are ready to build but lack the resources and access to land.
The Old Oak Common site aims to deliver 24,000 new homes. The announcement says that a minimum of 1,500 new homes will also be brought forward on non-industrial locations in an associated development in Park Royal. A new high street, schools and leisure facilities will also be part of the development.
It will also include commercial and office space around a new Old Oak Common station, providing space for 55,000 new jobs, as well as space for 1,500 businesses on the Park Royal industrial estate.