First: place

James Lidgate BW 2018

Housebuilding targets must be pursued, but L&G Homes boss says we also need to focus on placemaking and building viable communities

The government has pledged to deliver 300,000 additional homes a year by mid-2020, and is encouraging developers to build out more quickly and boost land release. And while prime minster Theresa May suggests that a planning overhaul is imminent, no matter what the policy, there are challenges that remain for housebuilders, particularly when it comes to impactful placemaking. 

In the rush to build homes, there is a danger that placemaking will be ignored, as opposed to being an integral part of the planning process. At Legal & General we are supportive of the government’s proposed overhaul of the planning rulebook and would welcome a more transparent system that is aligned with our continued priority to build homes quickly and create thriving communities that are supported by appropriate infrastructure. Housebuilders should be building homes and communities that work now and for the future, supported by a planning framework that recognises and encourages innovation and best practice. 

It is not just the number of homes being built that matters but also the opportunities these new homes can bring to the local area – improving it for the long term

Building homes is essential but building the right homes and communities is even more so. Speed need not compromise quality or placemaking, so we need to recognise that it is not just the number of homes being built that matters but also the opportunities these new homes can bring to the local area – improving it for the long term. This means early delivery of social infrastructure as well as other voluntary commitments to improve the area, and looking at the social value a development generates.

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