This is a welcome announcement, even if these are only pilots on well established ‘flagship’ sites. 

Some have taken the view that smaller developers, local authorities, housing associations ought to stick to self-build, custom-build and manufactured homes. If the commissioning processes at these sites are carried out bureaucratically, and pre-existing outline and reserve planning permissions are always required first then it will be difficult. But if assistance is provided with master planning and infrastructure delivery using ‘planning in principle’ then there may be very many positive opportunities. 

What else is notable in this announcement? That 40% of the homes on these sites are likely to be Starter Homes: the new affordable housing. Looks like social rent, and other forms of conventional social housing or shared equity are on the way out!