01/10/2011 18:35 BST | Updated 01/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Cameron Vows To Boost Right To Buy And Extend Brownfield Building

Thousands of acres of publicly-owned brownfield land are to be released by the Government for housebuilding, David Cameron announced on the eve of the Conservative Party conference.

Up to 100,000 homes are expected to be built under the scheme, which is designed to support growth and improve affordability in the housing market.

Cash-strapped developers will be given the opportunity to pay for the land later, when properties are sold, thereby bypassing the lack of upfront finance.

Aides said the plan, which comes amid criticism of the Government's attempts to boost economic growth, would support 200,000 jobs.

Getting the economy back on its feet will be a major theme for Cabinet ministers at the Tory conference in Manchester this week as the recovery continues to flag.

"The Government owns huge amounts of land, mostly brownfield sites, previously developed, either out of use or being run down in some way," Mr Cameron told The Sunday Times. "There's an enormous opportunity to build homes on those sites."

He said it was "appalling" that the average age of first-time buyers without financial support from their parents was now 37.

The Tories say that housebuilding fell to its lowest peacetime rate since 1924 under the last Labour government.

"This is a market that isn't working. Lenders won't lend, so buyers can't buy, and builders can't build," Mr Cameron said. "I believe we've got to get in there and help sort it out. I want people to have the chance to own their own home. This is a creative way of getting those homes built. I think it can make a big difference." 

Whitehall departments have been instructed to publish plans of previously-developed land and empty offices that they can release for house-building.