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Architects cast doubt over Tory housing plans

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Architects have questioned proposals to build 200,000 new homes through reviving ‘right to buy’ and selling public land to developers on a ‘buy now, pay later’ basis, announced by David Cameron at this week’s Conservative party conference

Alex Ely, partner at Mae Architects, suggested the attempt to boost affordable housing delivery by allowing more council tenants to purchase their homes was like ‘robbing Peter to pay Paul’.

Ben Derbyshire, managing director of HTA, said the initiative would ‘probably amount to a minor contribution to funding new council homes rather than a major bonanza’.

Broadway Malyan director Roger Tustain however said the policy ‘could assist in unlocking many sites around the country’ in cases where sites have ‘high abnormal development costs or the infrastructure delivery needs to be front loaded’.

He said: ‘The public sector’s continued interest in the land could also ensure that quality standards and proper place making objectives are secured through both land ownership and planning controls.’

Housing minister Grant Shapps said sites for 50,000 homes on ‘buy now, pay later’ sites had been identified.

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