Reaction to the government’s call for developers and planning authorities to be more flexible in their approach to increasing the housing supply continues to pour in – and now the Build To Rent sector is having its say.
Dominic Martin, business development director of Atlas Residential – a BTR developer and operator – says he welcomes the government reform of the National Planning Policy Framework, but he wants more to be done.
“From a Build to Rent perspective, one of the biggest barriers, as cited in an industry forum only last month, is a lack of awareness by local authorities in many secondary and tertiary UK towns and cities about what this new product really is and how it can benefit their local renting community” he says.
“An education of officers (both planning and housing) but also council members, especially those on planning committees is critical and requires a fresh drive from both those within the sector and wider government” he adds.
Chicago-based Atlas Residential has become one of the UK’s biggest operators in the BTR sector.
It has three sites operating or under construction totalling approximately 1,000 units with a further 1,500 units in the pipeline.
The latest estimate about the size of the BTR sector overall, as estimated on a quarterly basis by Savills and the British Property Federation, is that there are 105,214 units either completed or planned across the UK.
This includes 19,106 completed, 27,566 under construction, and a further 58,542 with planning permission.
In London, there are a total of 59,271 units; outside London, there are 45,943 units.