Putting housing on the LEP agenda

Here at the Greater Cambridge Greater Peterborough LEP we understand the important role that housing plays in the growth of our local economy.

To date, we have secured funding for key infrastructure to unlock land for both housing and commercial space, and also funding for construction skills development at CITB’s headquarters in West Norfolk and a Technical & Vocational Centre at Alconbury Weald Enterprise Campus.
Moving forward, we believe there is more we can do.

In June 2015, at the CIH Manchester Conference, we brought together a roundtable of representatives from the housing industry. This included firms involved the construction and delivery of new homes in our area such as the Hill Partnership, Kier, EC Harris, Cross Keys Homes, Quod, Build off Site, Lindum, and RentPlus.rsz_housing_event_june_15_10

The group discussed the potential role that the LEP could play in housing and economic growth in the future, with broad consensus that housing supply is intrinsically linked to economic growth.

Looking at the current barriers to growth, the professionals identified skills, costs associated with traditional construction methods, issues of affordability in and around the Cambridge area, and capacity within the existing housing deliverers (most notably the larger housing builders) to deliver more housing as key issues.

However, they also believed that there were a number of opportunities within the market across the GCGP area. These included development of publically owned sites, the opportunities that new players in the market who are attracted to the local area e.g. capitalising on institutional investment , the potential of modern methods of construction to deliver more new homes locally, and the ability for private and public sectors to work together to overcome key blockages within the industry.

As a unique growth area we believe that there is the opportunity to achieve ‘better’ outputs by working together.

Next steps

The LEP Board has shown their support for the team to undertake further work in this area, with a focus on:

  • Getting new homes built in the right place at the right time to support economic growth
  • Providing housing that is affordable to people working within the LEP area
  • Enabling a forward looking construction industry with a skilled workforce to deliver

Work is underway to further refine these housing asks through engagement with the sector before a detailed plan is put in place with a focus on delivery.

Further updates will be posted on this page in the future.