Spring Budget 2016: Comments - Architects datafile

  • Date: 17/03/2016
Spring Budget 2016: Comments - Architects datafile

Phil Harris, Head of Sales at BLP Insurance, comments on whether steps being taken to address the UK housing crisis go far enough:

“Measures announced in today’s budget will go some way towards stimulating housebuilding in the UK but it’s disappointing the lack of new initiatives directly applicable to providing a long term solution to the chronic housing shortage.

“We applaud the steps being taken to streamline the planning process by utilising a more zonal approach to applications. This demonstrates the government’s commitment to address flaws in the current process, speeding up approval and giving developers more certainty early on in the planning stage.

“Releasing more Brownfield sites for development is also a step in the right direction to face up to the shortage of land needed to meet the deficit between housing supply and demand. There is an understanding that local authorities, central government, the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) and Network Rail all need to take a joined up approach to deliver land where it matters.

“The government’s commitment to additional spending on infrastructure across the UK will give steam to the Northern Powerhouse agenda, encouraging the devolvement of investment capital away from London and the South East. Improving the connections between towns and cities across the UK, through the HS3, the trans Pennine Road link and further road upgrades, shows that the government recognises the importance of attracting investment towards the North of England. Property developers should be hot on the heels of these developments.

“Stones remain unturned and significant challenges still exist for the UK housing industry, including the current skills gap and a shortage of traditional building materials. In the absence of long-term solutions to all of these headwinds to the housing shortage, they will continue to have an adverse impact on the speed at which new homes can be built.”

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