Homes England revamps land disposal process

Homes England revamps land disposal process to support SMEs and new entrants.

Homes England is simplifying how it engages with developers and housebuilders to bring its land to market.

From July 2021 a new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) will replace the current Delivery Partner Panel (DPP3). The government’s national housing delivery agency says its new DPS will change how Homes England procures housebuilders, increasing flexibility and introducing a new more proportionate approach to ensuring partners’ ability to deliver homes on sites.

The DPS is planned to open for the first round of applications from April 2021. Housebuilders will have the option to apply to join the DPS at any time as Homes England’s pipeline of sites coming to market are publicised on the Homes England Land Hub or are brought forward by public sector landowners. 

Homes England says it is moving away from the DPP approach where housebuilders had one opportunity to join when the panel was renewed. The agency says this new land led approach will open Homes England sites up more widely to the whole market and be more flexible to accommodate market changes.

The DPS will also be available to help other public sector bodies, including local authorities and registered providers, procure a housebuilder or contractor to build homes on their land.

The DPS will introduce different categories of membership. SMEs bidding to deliver smaller sites will benefit from simpler entry criteria whereas the entry criteria for developers bidding to deliver larger strategic sites will be proportionately more testing. Larger developers will be expected to demonstrate leadership around issues such as design quality, building safety and improving equality and diversity in the industry.

Housebuilders will be able to tailor their membership to express interest in specific locations or types of development to give the agency the ability to more effectively market sites to interested parties.

Throughout the lifetime of the DPS, housebuilders will be able to apply to enter new categories and amend their membership, giving SMEs the ability to take on more ambitious schemes as they grow.

Christopher Pincher, minister of state for housing, said: “We are helping more SME and new developers to get into the house building market, and the new measures will make it easier for them to work in partnership with Homes England – unlocking home ownership for more families across the country. This compliments our recent work to simplify the outdated planning system through our planning reform proposals, making it easier and cheaper for small developers to build the homes we need.”

Nick Walkley, chief executive of Homes England, said: “Whilst a government procurement framework may not sound like exciting news, our new Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS) and land led approach really does modernise how we invite bids for public land. I hope our partners can see that we’ve actively listened to their feedback and acted on it.

“Our new DPS, with its new flexibilities, new membership criteria and more effective approach to marketing sites, will benefit our partners in the public sector and the housebuilding sector, particularly new entrants and SMEs.”

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