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The TCPA has produced a range of work investigating how to provide – in an environmentally sustainable way – an increased number of homes to meet growing social and economic needs. Its paper A Programme for Sustainable Communities, published in 2001, was followed by the Government’s own Sustainable Communities Plan, and in turn the Association bent its efforts even harder towards advancing sustainability in new development. Two sustainable communities guides were produced, highlighting built examples of how to realise sustainability in new development: Biodiversity by Design, in 2004, and Sustainable Energy by Design, early in 2006.
But debates about the quantity of housing and other development will continue, and it is important to understand the extent of the need for housing with which we as a society are faced over the coming years. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has been a stalwart supporter of independent research and best practice in this field, and with its support the TCPA was able to publish Home Truths in 2002, setting out the evidence of the need for more homes. Most recently, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation supported the research report by Dr Alan Holmans and Professor Christine Whitehead, More Households To Be Housed (published as a TCPA Tomorrow Series paper in October 2006), providing up-to-date housing projections vital for planning purposes.
This report takes us a further step forward. In disseminating the Home Truths report to leaders of local authorities in England and to other stakeholders, it became clear that more work needed to be done on how to release public land to support new housing development. The TCPA is immensely grateful to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for its generous support for this study and to the many stakeholders in the public and private sectors who have fed into our work. An important part of the credit must also go to Entec, whom the TCPA contracted to support the work of the project.