Sajid Javid puts more pressure on housebuilders

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  • 07/11/2016
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Sajid Javid puts more pressure on housebuilders
Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will reaffirm his commitment to get Britain building in an interview for Channel 4 Dispatches programme to be shown this evening.

He said: “I’m determined that we really get a grip on this and do something about it, that’s going to last for the long term and make a difference.”

Javid has already been vocal on the need to break the stranglehold that the biggest developers have on residential construction output and speaking at last month’s Conservative Party conference he said: “My message today is very clear: it’s time to get building.”

He added: “It’s time to stop sitting on land banks and stop delaying build-out. The homebuyers must come first”.

Steve Jones, head of communications for the Home Builders Federation said builders were not sitting on land. He explained: “It is a myth that has been totally disproved and that we totally reject. There is no evidence whatsoever that large housbuilders sit on land unnecessarily and every independent party that has looked at this has concluded that housebuilders don’t sit on land. Of course they have got to have some land that is ready to move onto and that is part of a business process. Just like a baker needs flour, builders need some land to move on to once they have finished the existing sites they are building out.”

However, Jones agreed it was difficult for smaller builders and said the HBF was working hard to change the status quo.

He added: “We have been pushing for measures to help smaller builders for some time. The problem comes when local authorities who are responsible for all planning permissions are not allocating sites that are suitable for smaller developers. The cost and the complexity of the planning system is preventing them from getting involved and so what we have been suggesting and what government has been acting on is that we need to see local authorities allocating a range of types and sizes of sites.”

In the 12 months to December 2015 house completions increased to 142,890. The latest figures show there were 144,280 homes started in the year to June 2016, a 2 % increase from the year to June 2015.

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