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10/03/2015

Let’s speed up output, say house builders

Words: Laura Edgar

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has used its Budget 2015 submission to call on the government to implement measures to boost housing delivery.

HBF want to see sites move more quickly through the development process, giving “a shot in the arm to small house builders”.

The submission to the Treasury asks Chancellor George Osborne to focus on:

• Driving further improvements to the end-to-end planning process;

• Ensuring that planning authorities are equipped to deal with increased demand; and

• Securing a long-term supply of land that can be built on more quickly and is accessible for local and regional house builders.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said although there had been an increase in house building activity in recent months, the numbers still fell short of the volume required, and developers are frustrated by delays that prevent an increase in output.

“If we are to increase supply, government needs to work with the industry to develop policies that will allow house builders large and small to deliver. We need a streamlining of the planning system such that it delivers enough land in the right places more quickly.

“The private sector house building industry will be building the majority of the homes of tomorrow and it must be encouraged and assisted by policies that create a climate within which it can grow.

“House building doesn’t just provide homes and new communities, it also brings unrivalled economic and social benefits in local areas and beyond. Solving the housing crisis won’t just help those in need of a home, it will also boost the national economy and create tens of thousands of new jobs,” he added.

The submission for next week’s Budget also includes proposals to strengthen the National Planning Policy Framework. If housing delivery is to be maximised, “local plan allocations should include an additional ‘implementation gap’ allowance” because not every allocated site will be ready to be developed within five years.

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