INCENTIVISING BROWNFIELD DEVELOPMENT
It would be possible to build up to 2.5 million houses on brownfield sites, if developers were less reluctant to take advantage of this rich source of potential housing land. Problems with remediation of derelict land that has had a previous use and may have contamination issues to address can be off-putting to potential developers. This is despite the fact technology to clean up sites and make them fit for new development is now readily available.
We will take steps to remove the barriers to brownfield builds with the aim of building one million homes on brownfield sites by 2025 to address the current housing shortage.
UKIP will require the Environment Agency to compile a National Brownfield Sites Register and provide a remediation assessment where appropriate.
The following financial incentives will be offered to encourage developers to build on brownfield sites:
• Grants of up to £10,000 per unit will be available to developers to carry out essential remediation work.
• Properties built on registered brownfield sites will be exempt from stamp duty on first sale, up to the £250,000 threshold.
• A grant to cover the cost of indemnity insurance will also be available to developers of decontaminated land. To further incentivise brownfield development, local authorities will be allowed to keep the New Homes Bonus beyond six years on brownfield sites.
BUILDING AFFORDABLE HOMES
We will increase the supply of affordable housing by:
• Identifying long-term dormant land held by central and local government so it can be released for affordable developments
• Relax planning regulations for the conversion of off-high road commercial and office space and other existing buildings to affordable residential use.
There is a dire shortage of affordable housing in Britain. Many of those who would like to own their own home are simply unable to even contemplate it. They are ‘locked out’ of home ownership.
BELIEVE in BRITAIN
While these measures will help address the housing shortage, we cannot just build our way out of the housing crisis. Our housing policy needs to be seen within a wider context of addressing the issue of supply and demand. Controlling the numbers of new migrants coming to Britain is one important part of the housing jigsaw.