Housebuilders urge Government to stop providing ammunition for NIMBYs

// HA News

  • Housing supply above 1950s levels and on track to meet Government’s 1M target
  • Industry delivers fastest increase in output ever recorded
  • Help to Buy supporting tens of thousands per year into home ownership
  • Latest customer satisfaction scores bounce back as industry reacts to quality issues
  • Investment by builders in future delivery up
  • Housebuilders made £6bn contributions to infrastructure and local services last year
  • Private sector now delivering half of all affordable homes

Housebuilders have called on ministers to recognise the achievements of the industry in delivering the Government’s housing commitments and meeting every challenge Ministers have laid down. The industry is well on target to deliver the million homes Government challenged it to but is highlighting the risk of negative rhetoric about new housing supply “providing cover for NIMBYs and energising anti-housebuilder campaigners” and damaging attempts to address the skills shortage.

With housing supply now above the levels recorded in the post war years and up 74% in four years; satisfaction scores released today showing build quality is improving; private sector builders providing 50% of all affordable housing as part of community contributions of over £6Bn a year; tens of thousands of new employees being recruited and trained; and a record number of planning permissions being applied for as the industry gears up to deliver Government’s pledges to young people and 300k homes a year, the industry believes Government should be recognising the progress being made by private sector housebuilders and working with them to positively position an industry that needs public support, and more recruits, to deliver Government targets.

Speaking at the annual HBF Policy Conference last month, Stewart Baseley, HBF executive chairman told ministers; “Government has quite rightly recognised the social and political need for them to address the chronic housing shortage we face. Housebuilders have risen to the challenge and delivered huge increases in supply, whilst providing increasing contributions to local infrastructure, amenities and affordable housing.

“As the same time the industry has invested hugely in training, recruitment and land to ensure it is geared up to deliver Government promises. The industry has also reacted decisively to reverse the slight, but unacceptable falls in customer service and quality, something that takes commitment from board level down.

The constant criticism of the industry often fails to recognise the huge progress being made.

"Negative perceptions also make further increases in supply more difficult by encouraging and providing excuses for the anti-development lobby and Local Authorities who don’t want to build. It also makes attracting the brightest and best your people more difficult. House builders across the country face huge challenges getting sites agreed and recruiting skilled workers, issues made more difficult by negative perceptions of the industry.

“The big increases in supply we have seen in recent years are on the back of successful policy introductions and private sector investment. We are calling on Government to continue to work with the industry constructively to deliver further mutually beneficial goals.”

Policies such as Help to Buy demonstrate Government’s commitment to building more homes. The scheme has been central to the increases and a hugely successful policy that should be celebrated. It has delivered on all its set objectives to drive supply up, help first time buyers and increase economic activity. The industry is calling for confirmation of its futurepost 2021.

Government has also overseen big improvements in the planning system since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework, and whilst the revisions currently being consulted on need to reduce the costly and time consuming blockages that see hundreds of thousands of so called permissions stuck for too long, it is delivering more land.

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