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Homes England launch digital tool to match developers with sites

Homes England has launched a tool called Land Hub, which will help match developers with 148 available sites over the next 18 months.

The site will include details of the planning status, size and proposed use – such as residential, industrial or commercial – of each site.

Sir Edward Lister, Chairman of Homes England, said: ‘Bringing another 148 sites to market demonstrates the scale of Homes England’s ambition to unlock land and accelerate the delivery of homes the country needs.

‘We are keen to speak to developers about the opportunities in our latest pipeline and want to collaborate with both major developers and smaller builders to create a more resilient housing market.’

The extra sites being released to developers follows the news that Homes England has agreed a partnership with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) to develop land being released by the Ministry of Defence, which has the potential to deliver over 10,000 homes across seven brownfield sites.

In November, Planning News met Andy Reeve of Birmingham-based startup DemoDev, who have produced a similar tool. He criticised Homes England for being innovation-averse in their approach to housebuilding.

DemoDev works as a mapping software tool that applies some clever algorithms to detect empty land and after exploring the open data that the Land Registry release, they found spaces for a potential 3000 homes in Birmingham.

The project is still in its early stages but in March, DemoDev won the Urban Challenge Award for an idea that could use technology to solve housing problems in the West Midlands. They won a £10,000 grant as well as support from the West Midlands Combined Authority as they work towards a pilot programme in the region.

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