Town Planning Review

Pioneers, pragmatists and sceptics: speculative housebuilders and brownfield development in the early twenty-first century

Town Planning Review (2013), 84, (1), 37–62.

Abstract

Despite the significant role that speculative housebuilders have in new housing provision, little attention has been paid to understanding the behavioural practices of speculative housebuilders and, in particular, evaluating their response to state-led policy initiatives seeking to influence their business practices. In addressing this gap, this paper uses the policy switch favouring brownfield development as a mechanism for examining how housebuilders respond to increasing state intervention in their business practices and, in doing so, explores the increasingly contested relationship between the state and the market in housing supply. It then reflects on what impacts this may have on housing delivery within the changing financial and policy context beyond 2010 and warns that public policy seeking to influence the location, type, quantity and quality of new housing needs to be supported by policies that encourage widespread behavioural change in the speculative housebuilding industry.

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Payne, Sarah