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Wates looks to HCA partnership

Wates boss Paul Drechsler has said the firm would “definitely” pursue a partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency to develop public land for housing.

On Tuesday, Sir Bob Kerslake, HCA chief executive, said he would invite contractors to work alongside him on affordable and private housing schemes on HCA land, as part of the government’s plan to build an additional 30,000 homes over the next two years.

He said the HCA and other public bodies would take on more upfront risk by putting up their own land but would also seek more returns when the homes were sold. Rather than seeing traditional developer rates of return, partners could expect closer to contractor levels.

Drechsler said Wates had already been seeking “new and innovative ways of working to help deliver affordable housing,” which was not being built quickly enough.

He said: “One of our principal businesses is in the provision of housing communities.

“So anything that is about delivering more housing for more people who need it, we are very interested in.

“We think this is a way to businesses growth and sustainable development growth, and growth of communities.”