Lib-Dems to Promise Housing Target of 300,000 a Year


Plans to build 300,000 homes a year and a £2.8bn-a-year expansion of childcare will be at the heart of the Liberal Democrat manifesto at next May’s general election.

The Lib Dem plan would trump Labour’s pledge to build 200,000 homes a year by 2020 and make housing a key election issue. Mr Clegg’s party wants to set up a Housing Investment Bank to streamline public funding and attract private investment, and to set up a ministerial task force to ensure the target is set.

The housing policy will be proposed by Tim Farron, the Lib Dem president, and Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, when the draft manifesto is put to the Lib Dems’ annual conference in Glasgow next month.

Mr Farron said: “We can and must choose to build a new generation of homes for those on ordinary salaries. Central to this is the need for consistent and committed action at all levels – a long term strategy – to tackle the biggest issue of our generation.”


Redrow Chairman – We Need a Sensible Look at Green Belt Boundaries


Mr Morgan also..urged reform of the country’s greenbelt – the rings of countryside containing urban areas. “That doesn’t mean riding a coach and horses through greenbelt policy, it just means having a sensible look at boundaries that were drawn up 60 years ago and are hopelessly out of date,” he said.

He added that “tatty” land on the edge of conurbations was deemed as sacrosanct, which was wrong.


You are being Managed – By Drone

Inside Housing

Two housing associations have become the first to purchase drones – flying camera-installed devices – to try to reduce the costs of managing their homes.

Housing associations are buying drones

High-definition cameras on drones could help to identify the sources of leaks

Halton Housing Trust and Bromford have invested in the technology and will examine the possibilities of using them over the next few weeks.

Halton believes using drones equipped with cameras to inspect roofs could reduce its bill for scaffolding costs, which last year totalled £310,000. It estimates 15% of this cost relates to routine inspections, which require staff to erect scaffolding to allow them to take photographs of roofs and gutters to check if repairs are needed.

Scaffolding costs £500 to erect and take down and can cost thousands of pounds to hire

The 6,400-home association has bought a £200 drone to test its use.

Nick Atkin, chief executive of Halton, said: ‘This could allow us to make savings and ensure greater convenience for our customers because scaffolding can be very intrusive.’

Mr Atkin said the quality of photographs from the high-definition camera on the drone would be good enough to allow them to investigate roof leaks.

Bromford has purchased a £380 drone and is planning to test it to carry out inspections of roofs and inspections of land before development.
If it decides to press ahead, the 28,000-home developer-landlord may invest in more expensive drones that have GPS technology

Paul Taylor, innovation coach at Bromford, said the association might need different types of drones for different purposes and may need a license for some commercial uses.

He said: ‘If [our] development [department] need one to scan land, they may need it to operate at different distances and heights, there is no way we are going to go the expense of that without testing cheap kit first.’