Politicians and business leaders map out new homes mission

More than 100 politicians and business leaders from across the Midlands and East of England discussed ways to tackle the housing crisis at a sustainability conference in Stamford.

The event – titled ‘More than bricks and mortar’ – was hosted by Bourne-based The Larkfleet Group of Companies at Stamford Welland Academy.

Speakers at the event included Larkfleet CEO Karl Hick; Matthew Lee, leader of South Kesteven District Council; Fionnuala Lennon from the government agency Homes England; and Ashley Dunseath from design consultancy LDA Design.

The government has set a target of building 300,000 new homes every year to provide enough homes to meet demand and prevent prices continuing to spiral out of the reach of many families. That is 50% more than were built last year.

Karl Hick told the conference: “Housing is more than a numbers game. Building and developing is not just about housing, but about creating communities in which people want to live. That is what Larkfleet is committed to do.”

Councillor Matthew Lee added: “We cannot simply leave it to the private sector to build the number of houses we need.

“Local councils and other public and private sector organisations need to work in partnership to create truly sustainable communities. There is more to creating a sustainable community than building houses and providing a mini-supermarket and a doctors’ surgery.

“We need to work with local small and medium sized builders to deliver more homes. Alongside that, we need to provide jobs, social facilities, arts and culture – all the things that make a real community.”

Specific issues tackled during the discussion sessions included future transport needs (will people in future want or need their own cars – and space to park them?), the prevention of flooding and the challenges of integrating services such as health, social care, education and power supply into future plans.