House building funds need red tape cut says FMB

The Prime Minister has announced a further £150m for stalled building sites under his Get Britain Building investment fund. However for it to be truly effective it needs to be coupled with reforms to the planning system.

That’s according to the Federation of Master Builders, which welcomes it as a boost to the struggling building industry but says it needs to be coupled with cuts in red tape that are stifling small house builders.

Brian Berry, FMB Chief Executive says: “The extra £150 million to get development finance directly to building firms is a positive commitment by the Government to increase the delivery of new housing. With new housing starts having dipped below 100,000 it is essential that the Government does all it can to support delivery across the whole of the industry.

“However, the extra money needs to be coupled with reforms to the planning system to make it simpler and faster as well as action to reduce the regulatory burden on house builders to remove the obstacles to the delivery of new homes. The ad hoc accumulation of burdens on small house builders has resulted in a 69% reduction in the number of small firms delivering new housing. These firms used to deliver two thirds of our new housing but now they only deliver a third.

“If we want to provide the housing that our growing population desperately needs the Government needs to lighten the load on small house builders to help them stay in business. The Government needs to urgently review all new regulations planned for the house building sector to ensure they do not frustrate the delivery of the homes, jobs, and growth that this country needs.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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