Small development sites key to housing says FMB

Builders’ organisation the Federation of Master Builders wants to see the Government do more to encourage the development of small and micro sites that exist in every town and city if it wants to tackle the housing problem.

FMB Chief Executive Brian Berry was speaking in response to Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s speech to the National House Building Council on Thursday.

He said: “While the Deputy Prime Minister’s support for major housing projects is very welcome they take time to bring forward. If the Government wants quick results it needs to provide more immediate assistance to the large number of dormant SME house builders who could mobilise quickly to deliver housing jobs and growth on much shorter timescales.

“The last time we built over 200,000 homes in England was in the late 1980s when SME house builders delivered over two thirds of our housing. Since then the number of smaller house builders has declined by 69% and they now deliver only around one third of our housing.”

Berry says that more could be done to help speed up the Government’s deregulatory agenda to help reduce the burden on house builders. He wants to see it making a commitment not to imposing any new burdens on the house building sector, as well as to addressing the excessive requirements for information and contributions demanded by the planning system.

“Above all, the Government must ensure that schemes such as Funding for Lending and the new £225m fund for stalled projects will make finance available to SME developers.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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