Headlines: August 16th, 2012

Expert brokers have been hired in a fresh drive to get stalled housing deals up and running and builders back on moth-balled sites.

Many housing developments stalled as the credit crunch began to bite because of economically unrealistic agreements negotiated between councils and developers at the height of the housing boom. This results in no development, no regeneration and no community benefits at all when agreements are no longer economically viable.

It is estimated that there are currently more than 1,400 housing schemes of more than 10 housing units with planning permission that are stalled and unblocking these developments is a key part of the Government’s Housing Strategy.

The deals struck in better times required developers to make a financial contribution to the community or provide housing, amenities or infrastructure as part of their planning permission.

Teams of intermediaries will now offer a free-of-charge advice and support service to councils and developers and will be available to help kick-start renegotiations of these deals to stop them being a barrier to getting building underway.

Brokers will begin work immediately with an initial wave of councils that are keen to address obstacles that are preventing development in their area before working with other councils around the country. The experts will provide technical expertise to unlock negotiations, act as go-betweens in disputes and offer access to a range of support services.

Councils in Leeds, Ipswich, Corby, Swindon, Ashford, Gloucester, Kirklees, Carlisle, Northumberland and Durham will the first to benefit from the support offered by the expert brokers and will identify key stalled sites they want to see back up and running.