Left to right: Rodger Till (The High Street Group), Liam Halligan and Mark Walton (Walton Robinson)
The event, held at St James’ Park, centred on the intricate landscape of the UK housing industry. Attendees delved into the multifaceted challenges confronting the sector and, equally importantly, explored avenues to invigorate home construction.
Intricately weaving analysis with firsthand reporting, 'Home Truths' is a product of comprehensive interviews with cabinet members, civil servants, planning authorities, and eminent figures within the property realm. Additionally, it introduces innovative policy propositions aimed at both regional and national governance, designed to galvanise housing development throughout the UK.
Among these propositions is the novel concept of relinquishing Section 106 and community engagement commitments from developers upon land acquisition. In lieu of these commitments, the proposal suggests that 50% of the land's value be directed to the local authority, allowing them to invest these funds in critical infrastructure projects such as schools and utilities. This approach aims to mitigate speculative land pricing and empower local authorities to concurrently furnish amenities while housing construction progresses.
Liam Halligan, a prolific writer of a weekly column in the Sunday Telegraph and a recognised commentator on prominent television and radio networks such as Channel 4, the BBC, and CNN, expounded upon the pivotal role of Small and Medium-Sized (SME) house builders and developers in propelling the creation of new residences. He also highlighted the significance of governmental support in fostering an upsurge in property development.
Mark Walton, the Managing Director of Walton Robinson, expressed his gratification, stating, “We were honored to host Liam in Newcastle and benefit from his insightful evaluation of the housing sector, coupled with his proposed solutions to address shortages and stimulate increased home construction.”
He further added, “The discourse ignited lively conversations among our esteemed guests hailing from the North East’s property sector, a group steadfastly contributing to the region's vibrant residential landscape. The intriguing propositions that Liam presented have piqued our curiosity, and we eagerly anticipate delving deeper into the perspectives and concepts laid out in his book, 'Home Truths'.”