Scheme to be rolled out to five sites with £1.2bn Starter Homes Fund also announced

The Cargiant site at Old Oak Common

The Cargiant site at Old Oak Common

The Prime Minister has announced that the government will directly commission thousands of new affordable homes to be built on publicly owned land.

The first wave of up to 13,000 homes will begin on four sites outside London this year with up to 40% of these to be affordable starter homes.

The sites outside London include Connaught Barracks in Dover, Northstowe in Cambridgeshire, Lower Graylingwell in Chichester, Daedelus on Waterfront in Gosport.

The new policy of direct commissioning will also be used at Old Oak Common in north west London.

The new policy is designed to enable quality homes to be built at a faster rate with smaller building firms, not able to take on big projects, able to build on government sites where planning permission is already in place.

The government has also announced a £1.2bn Starter Home Fund to prepare brownfield sites for new homes.

The fund is to fast-track the creation of at least 30,000 new Starter Homes and up to 30,000 market homes on 500 new sites by 2020 - helping deliver the government’s commitment to create 200,000 starter homes over the next five years.

The new investment will help kick-start regeneration and secure planning permission in urban areas – renovating disused or under-occupied urban sites so builders can get to work without any delays.

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Today’s package signals a huge shift in government policy. Nothing like this has been done on this scale in three decades – government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built.

“Backed up with a further £1.2 billion to get homes built on brownfield sites, it shows we will do everything we can to get Britain building and let more people have the security that comes with a home of their own.”

Communities Secretary Greg Clark said: “Today’s radical new approach will mean the Government will directly commission small and up-and-coming companies to build thousands of new homes on sites right across the country.”

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “When it comes to building new homes, the availability of small sites is the single biggest barrier to SME house builders increasing their output.

“Any measures that the Government can introduce that will increase the number of small sites suitable for SME house builders will help address the housing shortfall.

“It is also encouraging that the majority of these sites will already have planning permission in place as obtaining permission is all-too-often a lengthy and protracted process - avoiding this time delay should help house builders increase their supply much more quickly.”