The Government has revealed plans to open up data on brownfield sites, compulsory purchases and local plans in an attempt to accelerate the development of the property technology industry.
At a summit of property technology entrepreneurs, housing minister Esther McVey, told business leaders that the Government is committed to opening up access to publicly-owned data which allow start-ups to offer developers new services.
In a statement, the housing ministry said that firms such as Urban Intelligence and Future Fox had the potential to transform the development process by making it easier to locate development sites and by improving community engagement.
McVey said the rise of the so-called proptech sector had put the development industry on the cusp of a digital revolution.
The ministry said it would be opening up data about compulsory purchase orders (CPOs), simplifying and improving the quality of local authority-held brownfield registers, and exploring the possibility of standardising the data contained in local plans, to make it accessible to policy makers, citizens and businesses.
The move follows a survey of Federation of Master Builders members which found that “lack of available and viable land” is the most commonly cited barrier to increasing housing output for each of the last five years.
McVey said that new technology could link builders to brownfield sites, enhance how developers engage with local communities, and help builders deliver new homes.
She added: "We’ve had revolutions in the way that financial services, online banking and transport are provided, turning once unimaginable possibilities into everyday realities. Now it’s the turn of the UK property market.
"Whatever homebuyers prioritise, whether it’s the quality of local schools, the probability of getting a seat on a train, or having easy access to leisure facilities, this technology could transform the way we find and purchase homes.
“It’s time to harness new technology to unlock land and unleash the potential of housebuilders in all parts of the country and to revolutionise the way in which we buy homes.
“Today I’ve tasked my team to push forward work with proptech firms to look at how we can release more of the local data held by local bodies to innovative companies to unleash a digital revolution in the property sector.”