The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has blamed a lack of available and viable land in the UK as to why small and medium sized builders are struggling to deliver new homes, according to propertywire.com.
Is land really an issue for construction firms?
It’s the second year in a row that a large proportion of SME house builders have cited a lack of land for not building more homes. The FMB’s research found that two thirds of SME house builders believe there isn’t enough viable land in the UK.
Furthermore, they cited problems with the planning system and difficulties accessing finance as other challenges.
Property Developer Richard Carr understands the problems and also agrees with their complaints regarding under resourced local planning authorities, as he believes the government should be doing more to help councils.
According to propertywire.com new measures in the UK’s updated Neighbourhood Planning Bill will support more house building and will give local councils more say over housing developments, writes Richard Carr.
Will the new bill speed up the delivery of new housing?
New Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell has promised that the new bill will speed up and strengthen the neighbourhood planning process by making it easier for plans to be revised if local circumstances change.
Barwell told propertywire.com: “We need to build more homes and this Bill is the first of a number of measures to deliver on that. We have already built more than 900,000 homes since 2010 and now this Bill will help speed up delivery of the further new homes our country needs and ensure our foot is still firmly on the pedal.
The majority of property planners believe that a more stable planning system would provide greater certainty for developers and communities and help get the country building again.
According to recent research from the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) an overwhelming majority of planners blame decades of planning changes for their ability to work effectively and deliver new homes.
TheDelivering the Value of Planning report showed that a massive 73% of planners believe “constant changes” to planning rules have “hindered their ability to deliver good places”. Richard Carr, a property developer in the south of England, understands the problems and believes the government needs to loosen its grip on the system and make it easier for planners to deliver new developments.
Over half of respondents said that government policy changes had provided obstacles to the delivery of new homes, whilst almost 75% said that the profession had a reduced capacity to deliver.
There has been more good news for the property market this week with new data showing that the number of planning application approvals for new homes in London has increased by 46% on last quarter, writes property developer Richard Carr.
Planning approvals on the rise in the capital
Richard Carr believes this rapid increase shows that there is plenty of confidence in the market at the moment with planners putting more applications in and authorities working quicker and more effectively to get them approved.
If the government are to have any chance of getting the country out of the current housing crisis this has to continue.
In the second quarter of 2016 some 6,310 new homes were approved out of a possible 8,280 applications, an approval rate of 76%, according to the London New Homes Monitor from estate agents Stirling Ackroyd.
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!
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?
A UK Parliamentary petition has been launched in light of the country’s decision to leave the European Union to scrap energy performance certificates for residential properties.
Is it time to scrap EPCs?
Richard Carr, a Poole-based property developer, will watch with interest the success of the petition as it will impact upon the selling costs to sellers and landlords.
The certificates, which are known as EPCs, were introduced in 2007 as part of the Housing Act 2004, which made it a mandatory requirement that an energy assessment is made on all properties listed for sale in Britain.
This was implanted to comply with a European Directive, however many felt EPCs were a bureaucratic consequence of being a member of the European Union. As a result, the annual cost of having a property inspected and a certificate issued amounted to £100 million to sellers and landlords.
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.”
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.