PEER PRESSURE: Lords suggest rewarding developers for elderly housing projects

A cross-party committee of peers said developers should be offered cash incentives to build more housing for the elderly.

PEER PRESSURE

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The National Policy for the Built Environment Select Committee has suggested that building more homes for the elderly would release a huge amount of suitable homes for families, to the tune of billions of pounds worth of property.

There is a pressing need for new homes, but construction must not be done at the expense of quality, according to Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation.
Ministers have been encouraged to examine ways in which specialist retirement housing can be increased. Ideas include developers being exempt from paying for new local roads and bridges.

QUALITY AND STANDARDS

Issues around the quality of housing have been addressed by Baroness O’ Cathain, chairman of the select committee. Concerns were voiced over buildings being erected in the wrong places and to sub-standard quality. She claims that such practices results in “storing up misery” for the people living in those homes and for those in local neighbourhoods.

REFORMS

There are calls for reforms to ensure developers are not likely to “play fast and loose” with quality of housing.

At the very foundations of any housing development, there has to be a reliable land remediation service, employed to carry out the necessary preparation of the site. There are several housing developments on greenbelt land in the pipeline. Greg Clarke, Communities Secretary, has approved the development of 1,500 new homes near Gloucester. The Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) said pressure on local authorities to approve developments going ahead on greenbelt land has never been greater, with thousands of plans already in order around the country.

Site investigation and environmental monitoring are the main factors in deciding where these housing developments will be built.

A professional service is necessary to support the developer in meeting the regulatory standards required by the local authorities. Developers face all sorts of risks and pressures when purchasing sites. A reputable land remediation service, such as Ash Remediation Management, covers all aspects of site preparation from water and waste systems to the eradication of invasive weeds such as Japanese knotweed.

The standard and quality of any housing development comes down to the developer meeting all the necessary criteria set out by the relevant local authorities.