Making better use of local house builders offers the best solution to tackling planning objections from communities not wanting new homes, says the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to today’s speech on housing from the Secretary of State for DLUHC, Michael Gove MP.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB said: “Michael Gove MP has made clear he wants to see more beautiful homes that overcome the worries local communities may have on developments. What better way to address this than to use local house builders, that deliver high quality, small sites in the local style. If the nation’s small house builders can be grown to the levels of delivery, they once enjoyed a few decades ago, small high-quality sites can become the norm across the UK. We can return to organic, sustainable housing growth, rather than relying on large scale, cookie cutter housing.”
Berry continued: “It’s positive to see that local authorities will be held to account for not delivering on housing and that they will be made to allocate land to small builders. However, we’ll judge land allocation of small sites on the results, as previous efforts have failed. It’s also positive to see that local authorities are being pushed to deliver on local plans. A lack of a local plan is particularly difficult for smaller house builders, who have named land availability one of the biggest barriers to new delivering new homes. However, changes made to stop local authorities allocating greenfield land for development to meet housing needs will result in less housing, particularly in rural areas which are the heartlands of smaller house builders.”
Berry concluded “Overall Gove’s announcement is a bit of a mixed bag. While there are some positive overtures, there isn’t not enough here to turn around the ailing housing market, particularly for smaller house builders. The planning system needs a significant overhaul that helps to boost smaller sites that deliver sustainable organic growth. But at the core of this, we need well-funded and staffed planning teams that can help SMEs through the planning system.”