The construction sector has been reacting to the result of the General Election which saw former Minister for Housing Gavin Barwell lose his Croydon Central seat.
Greg Hill, Deputy Chief Executive at Hill.
“No business likes uncertainty and housebuilders like it least of all. This hung parliament and the horse-trading that will take place over housing policy to get a coalition in place means that many housebuilders will hit the pause button on their investment decisions. This is the exact wrong moment for a construction slow down. The country needs new homes desperately. We hope that the negotiations are concluded rapidly so that the new government is in place and ready to work with the sector to go out and get building.”
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB.
“The surprise General Election result has left key business sectors nervous with no one political party securing enough seats to form a majority government. The construction sector is particularly vulnerable to dips in consumer confidence brought about by political uncertainty and therefore it’s crucial that this uncertainty is minimised.
“In the longer term, there could be a potential silver lining for the business community as the prospect of a hard Brexit now seems less likely. Theresa May stood on a hard Brexit platform and she has clearly not been given a mandate to approach the negotiations in this way. Brexit is inevitable but the election result will surely have a significant impact on the shape of the Brexit deal we end up with. This could be a positive for business leaders who are concerned about a broad range of issues – for the construction sector, our greatest concern is that the flow of migrant workers might be reduced too quickly and before we are able to put in place a framework for training sufficient UK workers to replace them.”
Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive at UK-GBC.
“Over the coming weeks and months, Parliament must not let power struggles and partisan wranglings obstruct the immediate need for leadership and action on urgent policy imperatives such as housing, clean air, energy prices and the delayed Emissions Reduction Plan. The election campaign has highlighted the importance of these issues to voters alongside Brexit policy.
“The green economy represents one of the best opportunities for long term growth, and this was clearly demonstrated in the recent wave of support for the Paris Agreement. But in these times of political turmoil, businesses need clarity and certainty to invest in a low carbon, internationally competitive economy. Steadfast commitment to tackling climate change is one rare area of agreement between the two main parties, so this political common ground must now be extended to decisive action on domestic carbon emissions reductions.”
Founder and CEO of eMoov.co.uk, Russell Quirk.
“As we awake today to the opposite of a strong and stable administration but to a rather unexpected hung parliament, I fear that the property market’s post-election return to normality that I’d hoped for may be rather further away still. Political instability breeds procrastination on the part of homebuyers and sellers and for over a year now we have seen the effects of that on volumes, if not so much prices, as a consequence of the EU vote and then the snap general election.
“…. we will also see yet another Housing Minister in post by next week given that Gavin Barwell has just lost his Croydon Central seat. That’ll be our 6th Housing Minister in almost as many years.”
Nicholas Harris, Chief Executive, Stonewater.
“It’s a result that creates uncertainty, however, both Labour and Conservative parties share an ambitious commitment to tackling the nation’s affordable housing crisis and we hope they will work together to keep housing at the top of the Government’s agenda. We look forward to working with the new Government at all levels to help shape the detail of housing policy so we can build the decent, affordable homes that are so badly needed.”
Nicola Gooch, Senior Associate, Planning at Irwin Mitchell.
“It is hard to tell precisely what a hung parliament will mean for the planning system. If a coalition is not formed, then the most likely result is a Conservative minority government, which will need to rely on compromise, both within parliament and their own party, in order to succeed. At least in the short term, the answer, at least in planning terms, is likely to be more of the same – pushes to increase housing supply without building on the green belt.”