In response to the wholesale reform of the planning system in England announced by the Government today, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) welcomed the much needed opportunity to speed up the planning process and help diversify the housing market, but warned that any shake-up must not compromise the quality of the homes built.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Local, small builders are ready and waiting to play their part in delivering the homes, jobs, and growth we need if we are to ‘build, build, build’ our way to recovery. But the increasing complexities and costs of the planning system in England have held them back. Alongside struggles to access affordable land, 64% of developing small builders cite the planning system as the biggest barrier they face.”
Berry concluded: “We need a simpler and more responsive planning system, but I am clear that this shouldn’t compromise the quality of the homes that are built. Master Builders compete on quality, not on price, and have an important role to play in a more diverse housing market. We must also ensure local planning authorities are supported to respond to these changes, so that any shake-up doesn’t lead to further short-term delays in applications. If we get this right, making it easier for SME house builders to play a role will help support jobs, provide training opportunities for apprentices, and lead to higher quality, green homes that are fit for the future.”