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Govt accelerates development plans

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Government plans for selling off and developing unused public land have been warmly received by the property industry.

Prime Minister David Cameron has announced plans to accelerate the sale of unused public land, much of it for housing projects.

The government also plans to sell these assets with pre-approved planning permission, meaning new developments can start quickly.

The British Property Federation welcomes the move, but said the government needed to consider the effects on the wider market.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said developments should ideally include a mix of residential and commercial space.

“The release of public sector land is always to be welcomed, and it is good to see government take steps to speed this up. Although the permission is not likely to be a full permission, rather a permission in principle, it is nevertheless a helping hand for those regenerating our towns and cities,” she said.

“It is important that government does not take a blinkered approach to prioritising this land for residential use, however, as to create vibrant places where people actually want to live and work there needs to be a mix of residential and commercial elements.

“We would similarly hope that there will be scope for a variety of residential tenures within these pre-approvals. The purpose-built rental sector has the potential to significantly contribute to the UK’s housing supply, and should be given as much consideration as schemes for owner occupation.”

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