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Callcutt Review: Councils must form developer partnerships

Local authorities should form long-term partnerships with developers to meet the Government’s demand for 240,000 news homes a year by 2016.

That is one of the main conclusions of the Callcutt Review of house building development published today. It says the “all local authorities should review the scope for forming partnerships with one or more developers to insure that viability for development of previously developed land in their areas is recognised and exploited”.

It also says that within two years a ban will come in on the public sector working with any house builder or developer that fails to meet set standards of customer satisfaction. An annual national customer satisfaction survey will help inform this.

A Government-commisioned independent house building study wants a new delivery body to co-ordinate the industry’s target of zero carbon homes by 2016.

The Callcutt Review says construction needs a new organisation to co-ordinate the supply chain, construction products manufacturers and energy suppliers.

The report says the industry is likely to meet its target, but “will be stretched to meet the goals in this very tight timeframe with the multiple technical options and long lead times in the production supply chain.

It also criticises the lack of incentives for house builders to create superior designs.

The report says: “In the current house building market, however, there are insufficient incentives for quality.

“The returns to house builders for investing in quality barely justify the effort.”

A British Property Federation spokesman said the Government needs to find a replacement for CABE to assess design excellence in the industry: “We need a new independent body to assess the design and quality of buildings.

“CABE does not have enough funding to do that job and local planners don’t have enough resources to do it either.

“If we want an accountable judge of standards, that’s what needs to happen.”

The Callcutt Review of Housebuilding Delivery, was announced in December by the Government to examine the supply of new homes.

It called for local authorities to have “preferred partners” featuring consortia of deliverers such as housing associations, management companies and financiers, and also called for the continued support of smaller and medium sized house builders.

The review called for more use of previously developed land in cities for new house building, with less green field development.