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Propertymark proposes ‘infrastructure-first’ approach to housing supply

Propertymark has urged the UK Government to consider other ways of boosting the supply of homes for purchase. 

The Government has two main aims: constructing more homes while protecting the environment, yet it is also considering how to utilise brownfield land.

Responding to a Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities’ consultation on home delivery, the agency trade body shared concerns that an overemphasis on using brownfield land to meet housing targets could lead to the development of poor-quality housing in areas where people would not move it. 


As an alternative, Propertymark has proposed an infrastructure first approach, where homes are built with all the community assets they need, such as shops, transport links and access to schools. 

There should also be amendments to national planning policy which would encourage or incentivise smaller developers on smaller sites to offset the obstacles regarding tiny brownfield sites, Propertymark said.

Propertymark argues that local authorities should ultimately base development decisions on what would lead to the largest number of new homes that people would want to live in. Prioritising brownfield development would not work in every situation, therefore a flexible approach should be prioritised, the agency trade body said.

The response also suggests local authorities should approve developments that build a larger number of homes per year, rather than longer developments so they can respond quicker to the current housing supply shortage. 

Henry Griffith, policy and campaigns officer at Propertymark said: “Propertymark is well aware of the current housing shortage facing the country. In that sense we are supportive of measures introduced to improve the supply of new homes.

“We fully support this policy where it can open up opportunities to develop brownfield sites that were previously not considered and lead to the delivery of new homes that people want to live in. However, this policy presents a risk that poor quality homes in unappealing areas could be prioritised in order to meet delivery targets. This must be avoided at all costs as it will not lead to communities and areas where people want to live.”


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