Building industry reposnds to PM’s ‘Smarter State’ speech

Building industry reposnds to PM’s ‘Smarter State’ speech

The Prime Minister has laid out his vision for the country outlining the need for a ‘Smarter State’. In it he has called for the release of public land for further housebuilding.

The housebuilding sector has been quick to respond.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The release of public sector land is always to be welcomed, and it is good to see government take steps to speed this up. Although the permission is not likely to be a full permission, rather a permission in principle, it is nevertheless a helping hand for those regenerating our towns and cities.

“It is important that government does not take a blinkered approach to prioritising this land for residential use, however, as to create vibrant places where people actually want to live and work there needs to be a mix of residential and commercial elements.

“We would similarly hope that there will be scope for a variety of residential tenures within these pre-approvals. The purpose-built rental sector has the potential to significantly contribute to the UK’s housing supply, and should be given as much consideration as schemes for owner occupation.”

SME involvement

Meanwhile the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has called on the Government to embrace the role small and medium-sized construction companies can play in driving a thriving economy and working in partnership with a smart public sector.

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “Smaller companies can play a vital role in delivering the Government’s ambitions for a ‘smarter state’. Small construction firms boost local growth and job creation, and train the majority of new apprentices in the industry. However, smaller firms are often put at a disadvantage when it comes to crucial areas such as public tendering and delivery of new housing. When the Prime Minister says ‘what energises many markets are new insurgent companies, who break monopolies and bring in new ways of doing things’ this is especially true of the house building industry.”

Berry welcomed Government plans for further land release, commenting that: “The plans to put Ministry of Defence land, Government and local council buildings put up for sale with planning permissions already granted is exactly the kind of welcome move which can provide opportunities for small firms and new entrants.”

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