Independent Review of Build Out Rates

In June 2018 the draft ‘Independent Review of Build Out Rates’ was published. Written by former Conservative MP Sir Oliver Letwin, the document aims to explain and review the “gap between housing completions and the amount of land allocated or permissioned in areas of high housing demand”. In light of Letwin’s analysis, the document outlines methods of closing this gap and provides recommendations to the Chancellor and the Housing Secretary.

Letwin identified one primary reason for lower build out rates is the lack of competition between house builders. To elaborate, he suggested there are rarely opportunities for rival housebuilders to enter large sites and provide a broader range of house type and tenure. Therefore, if provision of housing is made more competitive, and consequently mixed, there would be a much higher choice and subsequently increased sales and build out rates. The ‘Planning’ magazine highlights that the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) agrees with Letwin’s’ conclusion that achieving greater variety should be encouraged. However, at this point in time, there is no certainty as to how this will be implemented.

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