Social housing drove the growth in output by the country’s top private housebuilders last year. Three of the top five volume housebuilders built fewer homes for private sale in 2005 than they did in 2004, but increased their output of affordable homes.

The Private Housebuilding Annual, published this week, reveals big housebuilders’ increasing involvement in the social sector last year in the run-up to receiving funding for the first time from the Housing Corporation’s main grant programme.

Wimpey, which won the biggest grant from the corporation, recorded the most dramatic increase in social housing output, building 1422 homes in 2005, against 958 in 2004.

The annual is published by Troubadour, which can be contacted on 0116-255 9312.

• The London Development Agency has selected a site for the Thames Gateway’s first zero-carbon development.

A three-acre site at Gallions Park in the Albert Docks will be the site for 200 homes. The LDA this week placed adverts in the UK and European press to begin selecting a development partner. It has been working with consultant Arup on the initial phase.