Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said: “The Competition Markets Authority (CMA) investigation into the state of housebuilding is right to highlight the planning system as a problem slowing down delivery of new homes. Resources are desperately needed by planning authorities to help small builders through the planning system. The CMA findings are a step forward, especially with an acknowledgement that SMEs are disproportionally affected by the planning system. These findings will hopefully give the Government renewed impetus to resolve these long-standing issues which the FMB has been highlighting for many years.”   

Berry concluded: “It is concerning, however, that the report does not provide enough nuance in such a complex market. The report has a very broad definition of SMEs with very little definition given to the range of house builders within the SME market, such as micro developers, custom house builders and new entrants. There are also few international comparisons and where they are included, the findings are fairly tepid, with little realisation for the potential of areas such as custom build, which could be an area of growth for UK builders. In similar countries, such as Germany, they are much further ahead on custom build properties accounting for a much higher percentage of overall housing delivery, which means less reliance on a small group of major housing developers and more diversity of design.”

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