The Prime Minister has set out 3 principles for delivering a smarter state: reform, devolution and efficiency. In his speech at Leeds he broached the idea of further planning reform/new models for disposing of government land holdings and prompting their rapid development.
"Closing down government offices and releasing government land can help build more homes and spread home ownership" Cameron sugested. "At the moment, we sell off unused government land to developers" he continued; "but the whole process takes a lot of time. Is it not time to cut out the middleman? Should government not just contract out development on this land and get building on it straight away?"
John Silvester, POS Communications Manager, told Planning magazine "Cameron suggests the government will build houses itself rather than sell off surplus land to a developer. This implies direct action on a grand scale by an implementation agency, where there currently is none, and in a possible relaxed planning scenario. A tall order, with a lot more detail yet to be ironed out."
Silvester added "POS is always ready to help in creating the tools to make things happen."
Steve Ingram, the Society Junior Vice-President, said "The appropriate re-use of surplus Government land and buildings (where they are located in sustainable locations) is something that in principle POS can positively support."
Ingram added "Clearly, if the Government is proposing to put in place new mechanisms to somehow fast-track such proposals, POS would want to proactively work with them in order to ensure that the related planning processes were fair and equitable and that they would still deliver high quality outcomes."
John Silvester Steve Ingram