Local authorities and developers in the North West's six housing Growth Point areas, awarded £31m today, must innovate and show flexibility to hit their targets, according to Iain Jenkinson, director in planning, development and regeneration at GVA Grimley.
Jenkinson said: "In this climate there will undoubtedly be pressure on the ability to support and commit to major programmes of investment to support what is a much needed accelerated programme of housing growth. It is our view that the most successful Growth Point partnerships will be those that are the most innovative, the most creative and those most willing to base their programmes on an effective partnership with the private sector – landowners, developers and funders."
The Growth Points programme awards funding to councils, to pass on to developers, in order to help meet targets of new houses built over and above the planning blueprint in the Regional Spatial Strategy.
Jenkinson added: "From GVA Grimley's experience of advising several of the Growth Point Partnerships, it is clear that there is still a considerable development pipeline in many areas.
"The first challenge, however, is in ensuring that existing planning consents are built out and to this end, there will need to be a coming together of the local authorities, the new Homes and Communities Agency as well as a range of sub regional and regional agencies to support this objective. Freedoms and flexibilities within and between both the public and private sector will be needed just to help schemes over the line."