230,000-home association announces land-led strategy to create new development opportunities

Places for People has launched a strategic land division, in what it describes as a “forward-thinking” move to support long-term growth and ramp up development to 5,000 new homes per year by 2028.

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Former Countryside director David Ashworth has been appointed to head up Places for People’s new strategic land division

The 230,000-home association has also announced four new regional strategic teams as part of a strategy to develop “medium to long-term sites over 100 units and around 20 acres, which require promotion and/or adoption in the local plan”.

The strategic land division and four regional strategic teams will be led by David Ashworth, former development director at partnerships housebuilder Countryside.

An increase in development to 5,000 homes a year would make Places for People the biggest developer of homes in the housing association sector, exceeding L&Q’s sector record of 4,157 completions in 2021/22. Places for People last year completed 1,775 homes, of which 1,022 were affordable tenures.

Ashworth said: “Our strategic land team will help fulfil the Group’s ambitious long-term investment and growth plans by providing a consistent supply of high-quality sustainable homes and vibrant new communities at even greater scale.”

The move follows announcements by several other large associations, including Sovereign and Accent of a shift towards a land-led model. This means acquiring sites for development, as opposed to relying on forward-buying section 106 homes required under planning requirements from volume housebuilders.

>>See also: Can HAs keep development going as the rest of the market slows?

>>See also: Places for People fund manager acquires Igloo

Places for People recently delivered the East Wick and Sweetwater development, with Balfour Beatty Investments.

It is also constructing Gilston Park estate, an 8,500-home extension spread across six new ‘villages’ in Harlow New Town. The development plan includes the construction of six new primary schools, healthcare facilities and 29,000 sq m of employment space.