The government’s housing and regeneration super quango will be given a lead role to implement the proposals of last week’s housing delivery review by John Callcutt.

Yvette Cooper, the housing minister, told Building that the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) would be asked to promote the “preferred partnerships” put forward by Callcutt as a way of achieving higher-quality homes.

Cooper said: “There’ll be a role to support the partnerships – I’m going to ask the HCA to do that.”

Callcutt (pictured) said the preferred partnerships, which are long-term deals between developers and councils to regenerate large brownfield areas, would need the new agency. He added that the agency had not yet agreed to take on this role.

Cooper also said that she would look at Callcutt’s proposal to create an independent professional process to assess the design quality of planning applications.

In another response to the Callcutt review, the government has said it intends to change the legal definition of a “substantial start” on site, to make it harder for developers to keep land without building on it.

Reaction to the report

  • Paul King, UK Green Building Council He’s right to emphasise homes in our towns and cities – eco-towns mustn’t become eco islands. But getting homes to zero carbon by 2016 makes the Olympics look like a hobby.
  • Trevor Beattie, English Partnerships His timing is perfect, but we must be careful that these deals don’t squeeze out the smaller developers.
  • Stewart Baseley, Home Builders Federation It would have been unrealistic to have expected John to fund a way through planning, but it’s the crux of the issue. It still looks unlikely we'll get enough land to build the homes required.