Housing roundup

Enough unused public sector land has been released to build over 103,000 new homes, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has said. And there are plans to release land with capacity for 150,000 homes between 2015 and 2020. The land released to date is on 899 sites including Ministry of Defence land at Aldershot in Hampshire where planning permission has been granted for up to 3,850, Bexhill former galley sidings – a derelict former oil storage depot with railway sidings site sold by the British Railways Board where Barratt has permission to build 64 properties and Stratford City former railway land, sold by London and Continental Railways in 2011, which is now the site of ‘Stratford One’, a 28-storey building providing accommodation for 1000 students next to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

Garden cities will deliver just a third of the new homes needed by 2020, according to a think tank. The 250,000 homes in the new developments mean the country will still need another 500,000 to house the growing population. Higher density cities are the answer, the think tank argued.  London and the home counties alone would need 67 garden city settlements, comprised of 30,000 people each, to reverse the region’s supply crisis over the next 25 years, warned the Future of Spaces Foundation, a group made up of representatives from the Centre for Cities, Shelter and the National Trust.