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Housebuilders Don’t Believe Government Target Will Be Hit

A new survey suggests that only three out of every 10 housebuilders in England think the Government will be able to build one million new homes by 2020 as per its target.

The main reasons that the housebuilders provided for the anticipated failure were land shortages, delays in receiving planning permission, financing problems, and skills shortages.

McBains Cooper, property consultants, arranged for a survey of directors and owners of 389 housebuilding firms across England.

When asked if they believed that the Government goal of building a million new homes by 2020 would be achieved, only 30 percent of respondents replied in the affirmative. 51 percent thought it would not, while 19 percent were unsure.

Housebuilders in London were more optimistic, with 43 percent confident that the goal would be accomplished. But only 14 percent of survey respondents in the South East and nine percent in the West Midlands thought that the target would be met.

In addition to the ambition to construct one million homes, the Government has also tasked itself with building 200,000 starter homes by the end of the decade.

Housebuilders thought that the Starter Homes target was more attainable, with 48 percent stating that the Government would be able to accomplish that objective.


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The survey also asked if housebuilders thought that Government intention to expedite planning permission for brownfield sites would hasten the development process and make new homes available.

More than half of the survey respondents believed that looser planning laws would make building permission easier to obtain, but 38 percent felt that it would still take too long to receive, and 30 percent responded that there was not sufficient brownfield land to build on.

Michael Thirkettle, McBains Cooper chief executive, said that the Government may be concerned that most housebuilders blame a low supply of appropriate or available land, as it has pledged to provide faster planning permission for construction on brownfield sites. He pointed out that the survey suggests that there isn’t sufficient brownfield land to build the number of homes necessary to combat the housing shortage.

Last fall Housing minister Brandon Lewis set an ambitious target to build one million new homes before the end of the current Parliament. Although long pressured to increase the supply of available housing, the Government had refrained from setting targets up until that point.

Interviewed for a BBC documentary, Mr Lewis said that in his estimation, ‘success’ would mean constructing one million new homes by 2020.





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