18th June 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Government’s decision to extend planning permission for new developments by another three years is a welcome boost to the ailing building industry, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Brian Berry, Director of External Affairs at the FMB said:
“The announcement from the new Housing Minister, John Healey, to relax planning rules to help developers at a time when house building is on its knees is a sensible measure to help keep proposed schemes alive until developers can afford to carry out the work. This measure will help ensure that new developments are kept on track in a very difficult economic climate.”
“John Healey has shown clear leadership and decisiveness in his first days in office and needs to build on this initiative to get house building back on its feet. His next move should be to allow cash generated from council house rents in the 206 council housing organisations across England to be ploughed back into building more social housing rather than left to sit in a national pot waiting for redistribution. The Government needs to allow councils to operate in a similar way to housing associations who can borrow freely and keep the cash generated from rents to plough back into their businesses. The estimated £200 million surplus could deliver around 1,800 council houses which is a lot more than the £50 million extra for new council housing announced in the Chancellor’s Budget in April.”