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5 March, 2020 - 20:24 By Kate Sweeney

Landowners hold key to development across Oxford2Cambridge Arc

Country landowners hold the key to unlocking pockets of potential development land which are crucial to the Government's ambition to build one million new homes in the region by 2050, according to housebuilder Grace Homes.

Dan Browne, who has recently joined the business as land director, believes that as well as building affordable homes in new settlements in the Oxford2Cambridge Arc more substantial, high-end housing will also be needed. 

Grace Homes is actively seeking more land on which to build new developments outside the city and is appealing to farmers and landowners to get in touch.

A recent report on the Oxford2Cambridge Arc stated: “We acknowledge that meeting economic potential will demand our collective determination to deliver significantly more homes in the arc, of the right quality and in the right places to meet its needs. 

“We recognise that this could include the development and expansion of existing, as well as new, settlements. This will be needed both to address the housing affordability issues already felt in many parts of the arc, and to provide places to live for future communities attracted by the arc’s economic opportunities.”

Browne, whose appointment will help Northamptonshire-based Grace Homes with its ambitious plans for growth, said: “Quite often, landowners live in a village or small town and may have a piece of land they have earmarked for sale, but don’t want it on their record that they created a development which local people think is an eyesore and which adds nothing to aesthetics of the community. 

“They want to create a legacy for their town or village – something they will be proud of – but have delayed selling because they are fearful that what will be created won’t be in keeping. However, it is vital that these pockets of land are released to meet the ambitious growth needs of the region.”

Formerly land director for Kier Living, Browne added: “Cambridge is in an area of huge growth and are actively looking for new sites for development and are welcoming approaches from landowners here.

“There are many large-scale developments going on in this region and that is only going to continue. Many developers would welcome a high-end brand on the gateway to their site, as this has the potential to lift the entire development. This is going to be a key component of our growth strategy, as we continue to play our part in meeting the UK’s housing needs.”

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