Housing

Kevin McCloud backs government housing plans

Grand Designs' Kevin McCloud says the government is showing "serious commitment" to building houses

Kevin McCloud at the Grand Designs exhibition

Kevin McCloud, presenter of Channel 4’s Grand Designs, has backed the government’s plans to get more competition into the house-building sector.

The government is preparing to reveal its Housing White Paper at the end of January, but has already trailed a plan to help create 48,000 new homes on 14 more “garden city” sites.

Government announcements at the end of last year also indicated greater support for building on public sector land, and for councils and housing associations having a bigger say on large developments.

For the first time since the recession we have seen a serious commitment to house building

“For the first time since the recession we have seen a serious commitment to house building,” said McCloud, director of HAB Land, an eco-home builder that has just launched a mini-bond to raise £3 million for development in the south of England.

“The large house builders have a very drip-feed approach, they like to control their market and ensure the values continue to rise,” McCloud explained. “I think the SMEs [small and medium enterprises] are really eager to get out there and build, that’s what we want to do.”

HAB wants to create allotments, car-sharing schemes and electric bicycle facilities at their new developments. “We don’t just build homes; we make streets and neighbourhoods – proper places,” said McCloud.

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