A new board established to speed up the delivery of new homes in the North of Tyne Combined Authority area met for the first time this month.
The North of Tyne Housing and Land Board brings together senior figures form the housing world and it is expected to help the combined authority’s three member councils deliver their Local Plans at a faster pace.
Sir Edward Lister, chair of Homes England, chaired the meeting, which was held at The Core, Newcastle Helix earlier this month.
“It is excellent to work within an organisation focused on building more homes, more quickly, to make sure that local people can live where they want,” Sir Edward said. “The new Housing and Land Board will help ensure that the combined authority will deliver 3,000 homes per year.”
The planning system, and freeing up land for homes also formed part of the inaugural discussion, as was bringing together housing associations, apprenticeships, ageing, and construction in rural areas.
The total number of new homes will remain the same as outlined in each council’s individual plan but the rate of delivery is hoped to increase from 1,800 to 3,000 per year up to 2032, helping to provide much-needed homes more quickly.
“Another piece of the devolution jigsaw falls into place,” said Norma Redfearn, elected mayor of North Tyneside, and the combined authority’s portfolio holder for housing. “One of the major advantages of having devolved powers will be greater control over housing and the ability to build the homes we have set out in our individual Local Plans more quickly.
“The new Housing and Land Board will help us to achieve this and I know from speaking to local people how urgently new homes are needed. I am greatly encouraged by the early conversations we are having.”
Pat Ritchie, the chief executive of Newcastle City Council, is also chief executive of the North of Tyne Authorities leading on housing.
“Improving the range, quality and affordability of housing will be essential to economic growth and productivity North of Tyne and in the wider region,” she said.
“North of Tyne authorities are extremely ambitious and recognise the important role that housing plays in retaining and attracting employment opportunities. On top of that there will also be many construction jobs created.
“It is still early days, and there are many challenges ahead, but the three authorities are determined to work together to accelerate housing growth.”
Leader of Northumberland County Council, Councillor Peter Jackson, added: “The North of Tyne Authority provides a huge opportunity for us to meet our housing aims for Northumberland. We want to extend choice in the market, deliver the right type of homes in the right places for both existing and future communities, and support the growth of our economy.”