Headlines: January 28th, 2004

There is a call today for stronger cooperation between housing associations and private house builders in a guide to good partnership practice for developing mixed tenure communities. The review of mixed-tenure agreements is being made available free of charge as part of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s work on easing the increasingly severe shortages of housing predicted for the next 20 years.It has been produced by Martin Willey, of the strategic regeneration consultants YTP and colleagues at specialist solicitors firm Bevan Ashford. They note evidence from JRF research that ‘planning gain’ procedures are not as effective as they could be in securing a plentiful supply of affordable housing. The guide then demonstrates how housing associations can establish a more positive relationship with house builders and cooperate with local authority planners in creating sustainable, mixed tenure developments.

The authors highlight examples of good practice in Britain and Europe, and make longer-term recommendations for policy and regulation changes. These aim to increase the supply of land for housing and to promote more strategic partnering.

Lord Best, director of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, says one cornerstone to achieving better results is for builders and housing associations to learn to operate better together. This increased cooperation would save time and money initially and make better use of the skills of these two key players in the longer term.

He adds, “The Government’s Planning and Compulsory Purchase Bill, currently before Parliament, suggests a new system of tariff payments – ‘planning contributions’ – that would enable developers to by-pass Section 106 Agreements. This report advocates staying with the system but improving it. If housebuilders and housing associations could learn to operate better together Section 106 would deliver better results all round.”

“Mixed tenure agreements: A Review of Partnership Models” by Martin Willey and Peter Scott, with Martin Howe, John Bosworth, Steve Hughes and Nigel Campbell is available free of charge from YPS at 64 Hallfield Road, Layerthorpe, York YO31 7ZQ (01904 430033) or as a pdf download from www.jrf.org.uk   http://www.jrf.org.uk.