November 28 2019 @ 15:44 by Richard Dawson
The economist and journalist Liam Halligan visited the North East this week to showcase his new book, ‘Home Truths’.
Speaking at an event held at St James’ Park and hosted by Walton Robinson and The High Street Group, Liam focused on challenges facing the UK housing sector as well as the opportunities to boost home building.
Combining analysis with reportage, ‘Home Truths’ draws on interviews with cabinet ministers, civil servants, planning officials and leading property experts.
It also contains Liam’s thoughts on the kind of policies needed for regional and national government to boost house building in the UK.
Among them is the idea to remove Section 106 and community involvement commitments from developers when they acquire land and instead offer 50 per cent of the value of the land to the local authority, which can then invest the money into local infrastructure.
Liam claims this will reduce the speculative price of land and enable local authorities to deliver amenities at the same time houses are being built.
Liam Halligan write a weekly column for the Daily Telegraph and is a regular commentator on television and radio working for Channel 4, the BBC and CNN.
Mark Walton, managing director of Walton Robinson who sponsored the event, said: “We were delighted to welcome Liam to Newcastle and hear his insightful assessment of the housing sector and some of the solutions he believes can tackle shortages and encourage more house building.
“It certainly stimulated debate around the table from our guests from across the North East’s property sector who are playing their part in providing this region with a strong mix of residential property.
“The proposals Liam discussed were fascinating and it will be interesting to delve deeper into them by reading his ‘Home Truths’ book.”