Developers blamed for UK’s housing crisis

Poole-based property developer Richard Carr is annoyed and disappointed to read that developers are being blamed for the country’s housing supply crisis.

Supply

Richard Carr skyline image

Property Developers aren’t to blame for the housing crisis

Richard Carr has been in the industry for three decades and believes the problems start and end with the government and the restrictions that they place on developers, which slow down and prevent properties being built.

However, after analysing recent research independent think-tank Civitas has claimed that councils have granted enough planning consents to meet the government’s target of building one million new homes by 2020.

Civitas’ editorial director, Daniel Bentley, told planningportal.co.uk: “Local authority planning departments have been under enormous pressure in recent years and are frequently blamed by developers for holding up housebuilding.

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Could Community Infrastructure Levy be paid directly to residents?

New PM Theresa May is believed to be considering paying Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) directly to local residents in a bid to gain support for new developments, writes property developer Richard Carr.

Shale Gas

Richard Carr CIL

Is CIL damaging house building?

The news comes after she announced proposals for cash from a scheme to share the proceeds of shale gas revenues to be handed straight to households.

The move is a step away from the first announcement in last year’s Autumn Statement when it was understood that shale revenues would go to community trusts and local authorities.

But Number 10 said that the new government has “changed the consultation to ensure a greater focus on control for local communities – including insisting on proposals to transfer funds directly to households rather than local authorities”.

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What challenges does the new housing minister face?

Newly appointed Prime Minister Theresa May’s overhaul of the cabinet saw Gavin Barwell appointed as the new housing minister – a not so easy job in the climate!

Challenges

Richard Carr and Gavin Barwell

Gavin Barwell has a tough job ahead of him

The country has been suffering through a housing crisis for the best part of half-a-decade, a problem well known to Poole-based property developer Richard Carr.

He believes that Gavin Barwell’s new role is in many ways a poison chaliced with so many challenges facing the property industry – mainly the lack of supply of new homes.

Estate agents and letting agents have welcomed his appoint and that in his role as Minister for London he will help tackle housing issues that particularly effect the capital city, but what about the rest of the country?

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Is a new home building quality needed?

The government is being called upon by industry experts to improve the current new home building quality standard to put consumers first, writes property developer Richard Carr.

Recommendations

Richard Carr talks about a new home build quality

Is a new home building standard required?

Members of Parliament and a number of construction experts propose that the government sets up a New Homes Ombudsman to mediate in disputes between home buyers and builders.

The request forms a 10-part list of recommendations to improve the quality of workmanship in new homes and provide consumers with easier and cheaper forms of redress, should a problem arise.

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment (APPGEBE) believe UK house builders should be upping their game when it comes to developing new build properties. APPGEBE believe they should be putting consumers at the heart of their business model and that the government should use its power to promote high quality within the industry at every opportunity.

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New builds still a top priority for the government

The government’s housing minister Brandon Lewis and communities secretary Greg Clark has confirmed that building new homes in the UK is still a top priority for the government in the wake of Brexit.

Shortage

Richard Carr on new build homes

New build properties are still a priority for the government

The news came following a meeting with the Home Builders Federation, whose members account for around 80% of the new homes that are built in England and Wales.

Despite the uncertainty created by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union, the HBF reiterated their ambition to build a million more new homes under the current government.

The HBF pointed out a number of government backed schemes which is underpinning their ambition:

  • £20 billion housing package announced by the government in the Spending Review
  • Help to Buy
  • Shared ownership

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Has the government’s planning reforms improved the system?

According to the Royal Town Planning Institute’s president Phil Williams the government’s endless planning reforms have failed to improve the system, an opinion shared by Poole-based property consultant Richard Carr.

New approach

Richard Carr planning policy image

Has the government improved the planning system?

Williams has urged the government to look at a new approach to planning and one that will “recognise, support and invest in the benefits that planning can deliver.”

Richard Carr believes that the government doesn’t take the planning system seriously enough and see its wider benefits to the country’s economy; including jobs, investment and clearly the housing shortage.

Williams added: “endless reform has not produced better growth, better housing, or better communities.”

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Queen announces new Bill to speed up property development

As part of the Queen’s speech earlier this month, she explained new government legislation and the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill, which is hoped to speed up property development in the UK, writes Richard Carr.

Reforms

Richard Carr comments on queens speech

How easy is it to speed up the planning process?

The newly introduced bill will introduce a number of reforms that will speed up the planning process and hand local communities more power regarding neighbourhood planning.

The government stated: “the new legislation would tackle the overuse, and in some cases, misuse of certain planning conditions, and thereby ensure that development can get underway without unnecessary delay.”

In the Queen’s speech she also outlined plans to streamline pre-commencement planning conditions to speed up housing developments.

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