Photographer: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

U.K. Government to Sell Industrial Sites to Small Developers

  • Cameron to spend about $1.8 billion cleaning up sites
  • Projects will be parceled out to smaller building companies

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron’s government plans to spend 1.2 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) preparing former industrial sites for house-building as part of an effort to bring down the cost of home ownership for young people.

The land will be divided into parcels and sold to smaller builders, with the goal of spurring development, Cameron said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. Up to 40 percent of the houses built will have to be sold to people aged under 40 at a 20 percent discount. Ministers said the policy will deliver 30,000 cheaper homes over the next five years.

“Today’s package signals a huge shift in government policy,” Cameron said in the e-mail. “Nothing like this has been done on this scale in three decades –- the government rolling its sleeves up and directly getting homes built.”

Cameron’s government has been stung by criticism that home ownership is unaffordable for those on average incomes. Later on Monday it will identify five pieces of government land around the country that will be opened up to development.

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