Council 'must be more creative' over housing, say Tories

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Coun Simon Cooke Coun Simon Cooke

Thinking up creative ideas for getting homes built on inner-city brownfield sites should be one of Bradford Council’s top priorities, according to the Conservatives.

The group was responding to the publication of a new five-year housing and homelessness strategy for the district.

Councillor Simon Cooke, the Conservative group’s spokesman for housing, said the Council needed to find ways of encouraging developers to deliver homes on previously-developed sites – which can often be more complex and less profitable to build on.

Coun Cooke said it wasn’t enough for planners to simply earmark the sites for housing.

He suggested talking to developers about the barriers to working on brownfield sites. He also said there could be funding streams which could be tapped into.

He said: “We have got to be much more creative about how we work with the private sector and with housing associations and others to actually deliver these things.”

Coun Cooke said this approach wasn’t just about saving rural areas from development.

He said: “It’s not just about saving green fields – which we need to save – it’s about making the inner city a nicer and more successful place.”

Coun Cooke said there were a number of former industrial sites, such as empty factories, which had been allocated for housing for years.

The new document, by Bradford Council and the Bradford Housing Partnership, does stress the importance of unlocking stalled sites, working closely with developers and for the Council and social housing providers to build homes themselves.

But Coun Cooke said the current strategy was “a long way” from being a concrete plan for driving forward house-building on trickier patches of land. He said: “We need more than a wish list, we need concrete ideas.”

But Coun Val Slater said the strategy set out the Council’s “key wants” and the details of how they would be delivered would follow.

She said: “I don’t disagree with him about needing some creative approaches for getting brownfield sites for housing.”

But, she said: “There’s very little we can do in Bradford on our own. This is a country-wide issue.”

Comments (7)

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10:15am Wed 18 Dec 13

allannicho says...

Where there is a will there is a way as the saying goes
and upwards not outwards!
Where there is a will there is a way as the saying goes and upwards not outwards! allannicho

10:21am Wed 18 Dec 13

MontyLeMar says...

The big house builders are not interested in brown field. They want green field and grand vistas and any excuse to charge unaffordable prices. Bunch of parasites the lot of them. Brown field should however be of interest to housing associations who charge affordable rents.
The big house builders are not interested in brown field. They want green field and grand vistas and any excuse to charge unaffordable prices. Bunch of parasites the lot of them. Brown field should however be of interest to housing associations who charge affordable rents. MontyLeMar

10:34am Wed 18 Dec 13

linebacker2 says...

Easy peasy, just the NIMBY's to move to these brownfield sites they keep telling us are so great.
Easy peasy, just the NIMBY's to move to these brownfield sites they keep telling us are so great. linebacker2

11:26am Wed 18 Dec 13

linebacker2 says...

MontyLeMar wrote:
The big house builders are not interested in brown field. They want green field and grand vistas and any excuse to charge unaffordable prices. Bunch of parasites the lot of them. Brown field should however be of interest to housing associations who charge affordable rents.
Your logic is totally screwed up. Developers have no problems selling housing in decent areas, it's properties in brownfield sites that remain unsold - it's brownfield sites which are unaffordable, basic economics.
[quote][p][bold]MontyLeMar[/bold] wrote: The big house builders are not interested in brown field. They want green field and grand vistas and any excuse to charge unaffordable prices. Bunch of parasites the lot of them. Brown field should however be of interest to housing associations who charge affordable rents.[/p][/quote]Your logic is totally screwed up. Developers have no problems selling housing in decent areas, it's properties in brownfield sites that remain unsold - it's brownfield sites which are unaffordable, basic economics. linebacker2

12:13pm Wed 18 Dec 13

sorrow&anger says...

linebacker2 wrote:
MontyLeMar wrote:
The big house builders are not interested in brown field. They want green field and grand vistas and any excuse to charge unaffordable prices. Bunch of parasites the lot of them. Brown field should however be of interest to housing associations who charge affordable rents.
Your logic is totally screwed up. Developers have no problems selling housing in decent areas, it's properties in brownfield sites that remain unsold - it's brownfield sites which are unaffordable, basic economics.
Quite so.

Developers have no problems selling houses on brownfields in desirable areas. Look at London's docklands. The issue is not the brownfields but the fact that they are located in the urban dump that was once our proud city of Bradford. If Cllrs. Cooke and Slater want homes on brownfields they need to get on and regenerate the city. Regenerating Bradford is not a country-wide issue, it is a Bradford issue. The solution is in their hands.
[quote][p][bold]linebacker2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MontyLeMar[/bold] wrote: The big house builders are not interested in brown field. They want green field and grand vistas and any excuse to charge unaffordable prices. Bunch of parasites the lot of them. Brown field should however be of interest to housing associations who charge affordable rents.[/p][/quote]Your logic is totally screwed up. Developers have no problems selling housing in decent areas, it's properties in brownfield sites that remain unsold - it's brownfield sites which are unaffordable, basic economics.[/p][/quote]Quite so. Developers have no problems selling houses on brownfields in desirable areas. Look at London's docklands. The issue is not the brownfields but the fact that they are located in the urban dump that was once our proud city of Bradford. If Cllrs. Cooke and Slater want homes on brownfields they need to get on and regenerate the city. Regenerating Bradford is not a country-wide issue, it is a Bradford issue. The solution is in their hands. sorrow&anger

3:21pm Wed 18 Dec 13

linebacker2 says...

sorrow&anger wrote:
linebacker2 wrote:
MontyLeMar wrote:
The big house builders are not interested in brown field. They want green field and grand vistas and any excuse to charge unaffordable prices. Bunch of parasites the lot of them. Brown field should however be of interest to housing associations who charge affordable rents.
Your logic is totally screwed up. Developers have no problems selling housing in decent areas, it's properties in brownfield sites that remain unsold - it's brownfield sites which are unaffordable, basic economics.
Quite so.

Developers have no problems selling houses on brownfields in desirable areas. Look at London's docklands. The issue is not the brownfields but the fact that they are located in the urban dump that was once our proud city of Bradford. If Cllrs. Cooke and Slater want homes on brownfields they need to get on and regenerate the city. Regenerating Bradford is not a country-wide issue, it is a Bradford issue. The solution is in their hands.
I think we all know that London is essentially its own economy which is pretty much untethered from the rest of the country.

The greenbelts were put in place decades ago, when the population was less than half of what it is now and few people commuted. They're now a tourniquet round our cities - that's one reason why our cities are so congested and it makes no sense to build even more in city centres when few people want to live in city centres outside London.
[quote][p][bold]sorrow&anger[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]linebacker2[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MontyLeMar[/bold] wrote: The big house builders are not interested in brown field. They want green field and grand vistas and any excuse to charge unaffordable prices. Bunch of parasites the lot of them. Brown field should however be of interest to housing associations who charge affordable rents.[/p][/quote]Your logic is totally screwed up. Developers have no problems selling housing in decent areas, it's properties in brownfield sites that remain unsold - it's brownfield sites which are unaffordable, basic economics.[/p][/quote]Quite so. Developers have no problems selling houses on brownfields in desirable areas. Look at London's docklands. The issue is not the brownfields but the fact that they are located in the urban dump that was once our proud city of Bradford. If Cllrs. Cooke and Slater want homes on brownfields they need to get on and regenerate the city. Regenerating Bradford is not a country-wide issue, it is a Bradford issue. The solution is in their hands.[/p][/quote]I think we all know that London is essentially its own economy which is pretty much untethered from the rest of the country. The greenbelts were put in place decades ago, when the population was less than half of what it is now and few people commuted. They're now a tourniquet round our cities - that's one reason why our cities are so congested and it makes no sense to build even more in city centres when few people want to live in city centres outside London. linebacker2

1:00am Thu 19 Dec 13

Jackie Thompson says...

The notion that housing on these greenfield sites will be affordable in any meaningful sense of the word is wrong for a number of reasons.

The developers will resist compromising their profit margins by putting social housing anywhere near their market priced housing and any housing on the sites that is marketed as 'affordable' will at best be 80% of the market value. The nicer the area the higher the cost so the 80% 'affordable' will be sold at a price way higher than an average Bradford home (the median property price across the district was reckoned to be £90K in 2008/9).

On top of that, in the Autumn statement, the Chancellor told Councils that they would be expected to sell any property they own in areas that have house prices above the average for their LA as soon as the tenancies become vacant. The lever he's going to use is access to any funding such as that coming from the LEP. So they won't be able to build new social housing in smart areas anyway.

Don't be fooled.
The notion that housing on these greenfield sites will be affordable in any meaningful sense of the word is wrong for a number of reasons. The developers will resist compromising their profit margins by putting social housing anywhere near their market priced housing and any housing on the sites that is marketed as 'affordable' will at best be 80% of the market value. The nicer the area the higher the cost so the 80% 'affordable' will be sold at a price way higher than an average Bradford home (the median property price across the district was reckoned to be £90K in 2008/9). On top of that, in the Autumn statement, the Chancellor told Councils that they would be expected to sell any property they own in areas that have house prices above the average for their LA as soon as the tenancies become vacant. The lever he's going to use is access to any funding such as that coming from the LEP. So they won't be able to build new social housing in smart areas anyway. Don't be fooled. Jackie Thompson

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