Housing in Essex - Post-Election Breakfast Briefing

08th August 2017
By Matt Clarke

Boyer and Snapdragon Consulting held a joint Breakfast Briefing for members of the property industry on Friday 7th July.

The event, held at the Weston Homes Community Stadium on the outskirts of Colchester, was attended by a wide range of property industry experts ranging from large and small housebuilders, estate agents, land owners, developers and charity representatives.

Focusing on the hot political topic of the moment, debate surrounded the concept of Garden Communities and whether these were not only a positive addition to the local area, but whether they would be deliverable and help build the houses required in Essex.

Speakers at the Briefing included Will Quince, Member of Parliament for Colchester, Leader of Colchester Borough Council, Cllr Paul Smith and Jamie Carswell, Director of Housing Growth and Strategy at Essex County Council.

All three speakers spoke passionately about the need for an ‘infrastructure first’ approach to the Garden Communities.

Will Quince MP talked about the need to build communities rather than just simply homes, a view echoed by both Cllr Smith and Jamie Carswell. He went on to discuss how improvements to travel in the area, such as the dualling of the A120 and increasing the A12 from two to three lanes were vital for future development.

Cllr Smith discussed how he wanted to see key workers supported on the new developments, including being eligible for a discount. Future proofing the communities was also high up on his agenda as he noted that electric car points would be built as standard.

Jamie Carswell highlighted a number of challenges facing not only Garden Communities but also building in general across Essex. These ranged from ensuring that the design of the homes was in keeping with the area, a higher amount of investment in infrastructure as well as ensuring that there is enough capacity in the construction industry to be capable of building the number of homes discussed.

Matt Clarke, Director, Head of Boyer Colchester commented:

“The range of speakers provided an engaging discussion into both national and local housing matters, and made for a very interesting debate, along with a useful market intelligence update on the property market from Leaders.

This was a very timely opportunity for guests to gain a further insight into the government’s intentions to deliver the reforms proposed in the housing White Paper, any potential implications on the housing market and also coincided with the North Essex Authorities Publication Local Plan Consultation which outlines policies for strategic growth, including the three cross-boundary Garden communities to deliver 43,000 new homes over a 30 year period.”

On the success of the event, Joel Fayers from Snapdragon Consulting said:

 “We are delighted that both the speakers and guests enjoyed the debate, so much so that we overran by a good 10-15 minutes!

Garden Communities are very much at the front of people’s minds in areas such as North Essex so it was interesting to hear the various arguments from local Politicians and Council members, especially in an area such as Colchester where there is a clear political divide which will need to be overcome in order for the proposed schemes to work.”

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