Government support for PRS is substantial, argues Stanford

Speaking at a MIPIM UK breakfast seminar Andrew Stanford, head of the government’s private rental taskforce, outlined the steps government has already taken to encourage the sector. And he had bad news for those arguing for a change in planning regulations.

Stanford said the government had already made a significant commitment to the sector, with the Build to Rent fund and the debt guarantee scheme. “That’s really helped to get things moving,” he insisted. On planning he noted: “Yes, it would be great if all local authorities would embrace build to rent,” perhaps through section 106 flexibility, or getting projects built on their own land. “Do I think the government needs to do more? I think the government is doing a lot already.”

On planning, he had bad news for those calling for changes in the definition of housing developments: “It is not going to introduce a new use class.” But he believed that options such as a 10 to 15 year private rental covenant, or flexibility on CIL or section 106 agreements, were the answer. “I genuinely believe we are making a difference.”

Stanford was responding to questions at a debate organised by Estates Gazette and sponsored by Macfarlanes, held at MIPIM UK during October; speakers included Bill Hughes of Legal & General, Elliott Lipton of First Base and Ryan Prince of Realstar.

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