Building firms: ministers will probably have to reintroduce housing targets

The government may need to reintroduce central government housing targets to boost the supply of new homes, a report has suggested.

New homes: planners face 'full force' of local opposition
New homes: planners face 'full force' of local opposition
The report, Tackling the Housing Crisis, from the housbuilding lobby group the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), says the government’s planning reforms "could not have made a worse start" by abolishing regional strategies which set local authorities targets for building new homes.

The report says one of the problems of removing the regional tier of planning is that it "exposes local planners and local councillors to the full force of local opposition to new development as responsibility for necessary but unpopular new construction can no longer be deflected to some distant entity. As such, while the government may baulk at compulsory housing targets, it is likely that it will have to find a way to re-introduce them".

The report also says that demand for new housing will outstrip supply by over half a million units by 2015, equivalent to the size of the UK's second largest city Birmingham.

FMB director of external affairs Brian Berry said: "We want the Government to consider our report's recommendations to help ease the housing problem. In particular, we want the Government to ensure banks increase lending; review and reduce the financial burdens on house builders; end the current uncertainty in the planning system; and end the policy of gold plating European carbon standards because the longer the Government leaves it to act, the more it will cost to get our housing system right."

Tackling the Housing Crisis can be read here.

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