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I think it’s pretty self-evident that in the non-residential sectors market forces drive redevelopment and, in most cases, intensification.
The difficulty is in the private residential sector where the fragmentation of ownership, whether in a low rise block of flats or a Victorian street, is such that it is well-nigh impossible to assemble large sites for redevelopment, even if it stacks up financially. I can assure you we've tried-and in one case succeeded in assembling a site from 25 different ownerships that will generate 425 new homes. But it’s not an exercise we'd readily repeat as it just takes too long to assemble the land.
Housebuilders have of course been working in the suburbs for many years on individual plots, replacing detached houses with apartment blocks, but the scope of this is limited by the willingness of individual owners to sell and the constraints on permissible densities. And, its application also tends to be limited to those suburbs with large, detached houses.
So it really does look as if our main contribution will come from maximising densities on schemes developed in partnership with the public sector.
The Home Builders Federation's paper, Solving England’s Housing Supply Crises provides an in-depth overview and analysis, and can be found here.
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