24 April 2019

An honest debate about housing is needed

Lord Bourne is introducing a home building debate that focuses on driving up supply, reforming the planning process and improving the speed and quality of new homes.

Citing the ambitious 300,000 new homes a year figure, Lord Bourne also focuses on modern methods of construction and making home ownership a reality for younger generations.

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) welcomes Lord Bourne’s housing debate as it provides a platform to discuss planning reform and solutions to the housing crisis.

Increasing the construction of new homes fundamentally relies on the efficiency of the planning system, where local plans allocate sites for development but can take years to grant planning permission.

In late 2019, Lord Bourne will publish an Accelerated Planning Green Paper, looking at how best we can speed up the planning process from beginning to end. The NFB thinks this will help local authorities understand the role they play in building more new homes, as well as allow the Government to rethink what planning reform really means. Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said:

“SMEs are integral to solving the housing crisis because they build on small sites, which are built more quickly and deliver proportionately more affordable homes than large sites. They also train 4 in 5 construction apprentices, employ within 15 miles of their head offices, and win work by fostering their professional reputation.”

Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing and planning policy for the House Builders Association (HBA), said:

“We need an honest debate about housing. People think builders buy some land and then just put up a house. They don’t realise how painstaking and expensive the process really is. Focussing on planning reform is vital because it informs every step of development: from the quality of the home to who lives there and why.”