In an interview with the Sunday Times, Philip Hammond pledged to use the Autumn Budget to announce plans that will help Britain build 300,000 new homes a year.
The chancellor of the Exchequer revealed that additional investment, as well as new powers and planning rules, will ensure that house builders will start building on sites where they already have planning permission.
Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, Hammond also underlined the importance to “recreate the small and medium-sized house building sector that used to exist in this country but was wiped out in the financial crisis.”
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has always stated that Britain can only address its current housing crisis by building 300,000 new homes every year, making this point quite clear in a letter addressed to the chancellor of the Exchequer on 14 November 2017. It is very encouraging to see that Mr Hammond has taken the NFB’s call for action fully on board; however, government must do more to understand how a broken planning process stifles the growth of SMEs.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “We are glad to hear that Mr Hammond has recognised the need to build 300,000 new homes each year and enable SMEs to fix the broken housing market. For every £1 invested with SMEs, 90p remains locally to grow regional economies, hire local skilled workers, and train local young apprentices. However, SME growth is often stifled by a burdensome and expensive planning process and this barrier must be addressed.
“We look forward to seeing Mr Hammond match his sensible words with sensible housing and planning policies in the Autumn Budget. Construction SMEs can help to get Britain building but we must be realistic about deliverable solutions.”