The RLA’s proposals for unwanted, small plots of local-authority land to be used for development of private rental property, has been well received in Parliament.
In a debate earlier this week, Lorely Burt MP (Lib Dem, Solihull), asked, “What assessment has been made of the number of new homes that could be built if relatively small patches of local authority-owned brownfield land could be sold to provide private landlords for house building?”
In reply, Don Foster, the under-secretary of state for communities and local government, commented, “I thank my hon. Friend; she is absolutely right. She knows that the Government are keen to see building on brownfield land where it is not of environmental value. We have provided a number of separate funds to help to unlock that. The Residential Landlords’ Association is now coming forward with some other interesting, additional ideas for ways to move forward and we look forward to hearing those proposals.”
Mr. Foster was referring to the RLA’s Manifesto for Growth, which was launched last week.
Among a series of measures aimed at driving growth in the private rented sector, the RLA believes unused, small plots of local-authority land should be sold off to create new housing in the PRS. The proposals come at a time when the Government is driving a sell-off of large areas of publicly-owned land to create much needed new housing. The RLA believes this programme should be complemented by the identification of smaller, unused brownfield publicly-owned sites, which could be sold off as part of a Small Plots policy to support the PRS. Such a policy would also complement the Government’s Build to Rent programme, which aims to promote institutional investment into the PRS with new developments of 100 or more units.