October began with a bang after the conservative party conference, where Theresa May debuted in her first party conference as Prime Minister. She delivered the good news of a pledge to accelerate housebuilding in order to defeat the UK's housing deficit - excellent news for housebuilders like us.
The pledge reveals a two-pronged attack towards tackling the housing shortage. £2 billion of funds will be assigned to an Accelerated Construction Scheme to make public land with planning permission more readily available to builders, while a £3 billion fund will be exclusively for housebuilding loans. Also announced were new reforms to the planning system, in which brownfield housebuilding will be given much more movement in order to stimulate growth.
The conservative government created their own target of building 1 million homes by the end of their parliament, but according to Build Show statistics, 74% of housebuilders think this is an unachievable target. It remains to be seen whether these announcements will influence the aforementioned housebuilders for the better, and take a little strain off the government's as well as our own uphill struggle.
At Wedgewood Homes we are doing our bit to combat the housing shortage in and around Kent. After complete sales success at our most recent development Longview, in Boughton-under-Blean and a similar story with Victoria Lodge in Whitstable (snapped up as soon as it hit the market), we've got some new schemes up our sleeve. The Willows is located in Chestfield and will consist of 4 unique, barn style homes and 1 detached home that will enjoy the Southeast’s beautiful coastline as well as the villages' abundant woodland.
We have also recently gained planning permission on a scheme in the heart of Sevenoaks, ideally located close to Knole Park, New Beacon School and Weald. Here we will be building two detached family homes with some exciting structural features. Due to the high demand for new homes, combined with the desirable areas in which we build, I am confident that these new schemes will receive the interest we are hoping for.
With these developments keeping Wedgewood Homes busy, and the positive and warranted step the government has taken towards supplying new homes, it is an extremely encouraging way for housebuilders like myself to enter into the fourth quarter of the year. I am encouraged by the rhetoric of the recent party conference, and eagerly wait to see the tangible results.