Housing minister Esther McVey has announced plans for a ‘tech revolution’ to help SME builders find sites and yesterday hosted a round-table meeting with several proptech firms to kick the project off.
Government data on available brownfield land is to be released to the proptech firms and will include information on available sites and also those that may be available via upcoming compulsory purchase orders.
Esther McVey also says she wants to widen access to Energy Performance Certificate, square footage and other property data about to help smaller builders plan their projects.
Also, there are plans to enable house buyers to make more informed decisions when buying a newbuild including commuting times, financing options and step-by-step help through the buying process.
Planning to change
The government also wants to use tech to help local communities to engage with the planning process and have a much wider range of voices heard when developments are going through the approval process.
“We’ve had revolutions in the way that financial services, online banking and transport are provided, turning once unimaginable possibilities into everyday realities,” says McVey. “Now it’s the turn of the UK property market.
“It’s time to harness new technology to unlock land and unleash the potential of house builders in all parts of the country and to revolutionise the way in which we buy homes.”
Michael Stone (left), CEO of SMEI builder Stone Real Estate, says: “Any initiative to open up land supply and provide greater transparency within the house building process should be welcomed.
“After all, we’re building 200,000 new homes a year nationally while the reality is that we need to deliver 300,000, so that’s some deficit that needs to be addressed.
“However, whilst the Housing Minister’s announcements today on promoting digitisation and better brownfield site identification will be welcomed, perhaps they should go a step further and start mandating that public land is also utilised more readily.”