Shapps told conference event that plans for homes to be built in 2015 will be published

The government has already identified sites for 50,000 of the homes it wants to build on disused public sector land, housing minister Grant Shapps has revealed.

Shapps said that the government had been working “over the summer” on the initiative announced by prime minister David Cameron yesterday to build 100,000 homes on unused public land. He told a conference fringe event organised by the HBF and NHBC that “space for 50,000 of the 100,000 homes has already been identified.”

Revealing further details of the policy today, chancellor George Osborne said that the homes would be built by 2015. In a boost to the sector, the move will see developers able to build on many of the sites before paying for the land, with payment being due only when the homes are sold. Government departments with significant land banks have been told to publish plans to release land to housebuilders and communities. Sites will include brownfield sites, empty offices and disused land.

The coalition has already talked about building homes on government land, but in June said it had identified just 11,000 plots on public sites, rather than the 50,000 mentioned by Shapps today.

At the fringe event, Shapps told delegates: “There is absolutely a housing crisis facing this country…Nothing feeds through to GDP faster than construction and building homes.”