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HCA publishes report on local authority house building

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has published a dual review of its efforts to meet the UK's ongoing chronic housing shortage and the progress that has been made in recent years.

Its Viability Testing Local Plans - Advice for planning practitioners and Review of Local Standards for the Delivery of New Homes reports have outlined the challenges and solutions that have been provided to overcome these problems facing the construction industry.

The project came about following a request from housing minister Grant Shapps and saw the creation of the Local Housing Delivery Group, chaired by Sir John Harman, to compile the findings.

As part of the reference material, a number of recommendations have been made to help further home building across the UK. These include a greater focus on sustainability and long-term construction viability for the sector.

Sir John noted at the launch of the review that there has been a considerable consensus between local authorities, planners and builders over the need for more new properties across the UK in recent years and this has helped push forward progress in helping the country overcome its housing issues.

He added that this publication is an example of how advice for the delivery of sustainable new homes can be balanced against delivering realistic returns for landowners and developers across the UK.

"England has an acute housing supply crisis and local authorities have a critical role to play in enabling home builders to meet the country's housing needs," commented Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation.

"This advice, the result of a unique collaboration between home builders and local government, will help local authorities ensure sufficient sites for desperately needed housing are viable and can be developed."

Earlier this month, the HCA revealed the government surpassed its housing delivery targets for 2011-12 in the financial year to March 31st.

Overall, the HCA delivered 59,451 residential property completions across England during this period - significantly exceeding its target of 41,000. 

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