The issue of whether local authorities can release land at less than the market value remains one of the biggest barriers to more community-led housing projects, according to sector experts. Speaking in front of the London Assembly’s housing committee last week, Emily Auckland, a senior project manager at the UK charity Bioregional, said working with local authorities ‘is incredibly difficult when it comes to the best consideration of land values’. ‘Even where a local authority is willing and has engaged with a group, getting around that requirement and justifying something, which is perhaps considered more risky is an issue,’ she told the committee. Lewisham council’s housing strategy manager, Jeff Endean admitted the process local authorities have to go through to release land at less than the market value is one of the reasons why community-led schemes can be ‘slow coming forward’. ‘Local authorities have a duty to secure best value,’ … (To read the full article, subscribe below)

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Jamie Hailstone is senior reporter – NewStart