UK’s biggest agency pours cold water on Sunak’s housing plans

Connells boss Jason Willetts says the PM's plan is no 'silver bullet', and the Government is still 'miles away' from hitting its housebuilding target.


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Connells has poured cold water on PM Rishi Sunak’s plan to build homes in inner city areas, and called for a return of Help to Buy.

The UK’s largest estate agent says the Prime Minister’s initiative is not ‘a silver bullet’, and the Government is still “miles away” from hitting its target of 300,000 new homes per year.


Sunak announced that planning rules are to be given a major shake-up to ensure local councils allow more ‘brownfield’ development such as derelict and unused buildings.

Every council in England will be told they need to prioritise brownfield building, with less red tape and more flexibility in applying policies that currently prevent housebuilding.

Miles away

The bar for refusing brownfield plans will also be made much higher for those big city councils who are failing to hit their locally agreed housebuilding targets.

Up to 11,500 more homes could be created in London under the plans, the Government claims.

Brownfield sites are part of the equation of course, but it’s not the silver bullet.”

But Jason Willetts, MD at Connells Land & New Homes (main picture), says: “Brownfield sites are part of the equation of course, but it’s not the silver bullet, what is undeniable is that we are not building enough homes – we’re miles away from the 300,000 that was targeted.

“We know brownfield sites are not often in the location that buyers want them to be,” he says.

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Jason Howes, National MD, Sequence Land & New Homes

And Jason Howes, National MD at Sequence Land & New Homes (part of Connells), says: “What would really help the market and boost housing growth, and with it the economy, would be the reintroduction of Help To Buy”.

Jeremy Leaf

Jeremy Leaf, north London estate agent and a former RICS residential chairman, was also sceptical about the Government’s plans: “Sadly we have heard much of it before without seeing much difference on the ground.”

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