This week, the great and the good of the property industry are networking in the South of France. I am not amongst them*, but Gavin Barwell has been in attendance. The Guardian's report of his speech has been published this morning on their website (link below).
In addition to the usual statements about the Government's commitment to building more homes and increasing the supply of land for housing; the Minister made a rather unusual (and potentially time-consuming) offer.
The Minister has offered to meet with any investors at MIPIM who are struggling to find land for housing developments and see what he can do to help resolve the issues.
The Guardian does not report on the level of take-up on the Minister's remarkably generous offer, but given that the whole purpose of MIPIM is to network and identify potential opportunities, I would expect it to be considerable.
Whilst the intent behind the statement is laudable, given how packed Minister's schedules tend to be, I am slightly concerned about how and where he will find the time.... his Diary Secretary must be tearing their hair out....
* details of IM's MIPIM delegation can be found here: http://www.irwinmitchell.com/business/mipim-2017
“If you’ve got parts of the country where you want to build homes and you’re struggling to find land, you come and see me and I will then raise those issues with the relevant local authorities,” he told investors at the UK government’s first promotional stand on the famous waterfront in the south of France. “I don’t want people who want to build unable to do so because they can’t find the sites they want. “That’s an offer to anyone in this room – if you’re struggling to find sites you [can] come talk to me and I’ll try and do something about it.” Barwell said the government was committed to building more homes that families desperately needed and to releasing enough land for 160,000 new properties.