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News Release


Solent region faces housing shortage, says property consultancy JLL

Local authorities need to adopt a more pragmatic approach to development

SOUTHAMPTON, July 1 2015 - A property consultancy is calling on local authorities in the Solent region to take a more pragmatic approach to housing development ahead of a property event in Southampton tomorrow (Thursday July 2, 2015).

JLL, which has an office in Southampton, says that towns and cities in the central Southern part of the UK face an acute housing shortage because of population growth and a high demand for housing which is outstripping supply.

David RamsayDavid Ramsay, director of planning and development at JLL, will be presenting at the Southampton Property Association (SPA) event which is being held at The Port House, Port Solent, an office building marketed by JLL.

David says: “Most authorities are underplaying the need for new houses in their areas because development is often feared by local people. So there remains a disconnect between central Government rhetoric, which states that hundreds of thousands of homes are needed across the UK, and the reality of what is being delivered at a local level.

“Combine this with high demand and a rapidly increasing population, and we will start to see the effects of the housing shortage worsen with prices continuing to rise as the market becomes more competitive.

“In the worst cases, some local authorities have suffered big delays in publishing their local plans, which dictate how many houses are needed in that area, and this will further delay the delivery of the significant housing growth that is needed.

“Councils need to set more ambitious housing targets that reflect the needs of their communities and take a more pragmatic approach when it comes to reviewing planning applications.”
David will also discuss the recently updated permitted development rights, in particular those which could affect high streets in the region.

“There is a raft of new legislation which will allow retail units to be used for other purposes without the need for planning permission and this will allow empty shops to be converted to a range of alternative outlets, such as banks or restaurants.

“We could also start to see spaces above shops, which might have been traditionally used for storage, be converted to homes. This will have a big impact on the look and feel of our high streets and make them more active and interesting places.”

Meanwhile, JLL says that developers remain reluctant to build new offices as they are not financially viable to build.

David says: “With a rising economy, it’s only a matter of time before new office development becomes viable, but in the meantime, we are seeing some local authorities take a more relaxed approach to sites that are earmarked for employment.

“The more forward thinking councils are allowing other types of development that provide jobs and strengthen the economy. Care homes for example are often big employers.

“This means that we are seeing more diverse development across the region.”

David joined JLL Southampton last month (June) from Vail Williams.

The SPA event starts at 5pm and will also include an update on the marine sector by Knight Frank and an update on measuring offices by Baker Properties. Registration for the event is via the SPA website.

First floor refurbished offices at 6,521 sq ft are available to let at The Port House, a modern waterside building close to Port Solent marina village. JLL and Hughes Ellard are the marketing agents for the property.