Brown announces a new housing agency to help deliver 40,000 more homes a year by 2016

Gordon Brown has pledged to build an extra 40,000 more homes a year in England and Wales by 2016.

Gordon Brown
Brown: greenbelt will be robustly protected

Brown said that the number of homes built in the UK will rise from 200,000 to 240,000 within nine years. A total of 3,000,000 new homes will be built by 2020.

Brown revealed his legislative programme at lunchtime in the House of Commons.

He said that the homes would be built mainly on brown land and that the government would "robustly protect greenbelt land."

The release of surplus public sector land for housing was identified as a priority by Brown. He said that over 550 sites owned by the public sector including the MOD, Highways Agency and NHS were being examined for housing. This land could provide sites for up to 100,000 new homes, while brownfield land owned by local authorities could provide a further 60,000.

Brown announced a new housing bill which would merge English Partnership and the Housing Corporation into a new housing agency, which would help deliver the new homes.

The new primeminister also put the Planning Gain Supplement Bill on hold saying the government would examine whether there was a better alternative prior to the next pre-budget report.

The announcement was met positively by the British Property Federation. Faraz Baber, director for planning and regeneration, said: "The BPF are delighted that the Prime Minister has opened the door for real engagement on the alternatives to a deeply floored policy proposal called the Planning Gain Supplement.