The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has highlighted three practical steps that the Government should take in order to ensure the supply chain can meet the material demands for 300,000 new homes every year.
Identifying improved policy clarity, better resourcing for the mineral planning system, and supportive policy architecture after Brexit, the MPA believes that the Government needs to give greater consideration to the long-term capacity and ability of the supply chain to support the delivery of new homes.
The National Federation of Builders (NFB) – whose membership consists of SME builders and regional contractors – agrees with the MPA and encourages the Government to take a holistic approach that recognises how the construction supply chain operates in reality.
While the NFB campaigns for improvements to the broken planning process, the availability and price of materials also has a substantial impact on the ability of construction companies to deliver.
Due to rising costs, NFB members have already begun looking outside the EU for material suppliers. What they are buying, and where, provides a good indicator as to how home-grown markets can be developed. By focusing on production of materials that are not available at competitive prices in the EU currently, the domestic market can fully take advantage of the opportunity this presents.
The MPA has also highlighted the value of the supply chain in rural communities and NFB members, who are typically the clients of local material suppliers, wholeheartedly support that message.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “From planners and communities to developers and material suppliers, we will never meet the target of 300,000 homes a year unless regulation and ambition support the capacity of a united construction supply chain.
“The supply chain is predominantly operated by SMEs, who train and retain two thirds of apprentices and are our principal rural employer. It makes economic and social sense to empower their growth.”