House builders welcome ‘shot in the arm’ Budget

Aaron Morby 13 years ago

Beleaguered house builders got most of what they called for from the Chancellor as he unveiled the latest attempt to kick-start the industry.

The Budget delivered a long overdue £250m FirstBuy aid package for first time buyers that Government claimed would support 50,000 construction jobs.

George Osborne also unveiled plans to release large tracts of land with planning consents through public land auctions and promised big planning reforms.

These include a presumption to grant planning to sustainable housing developments and a pledge to force councils to handle applications within 12 months.

The Government will also consult over plans to allow commercial space to be converted to residential without the need for planning.

He also agreed to water down requirements to force builders to deliver zero carbon homes by 2016, saying the Government would now look at more realistic targets that didn’t make sites uneconomic.

Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt, the UK’s largest house builder by output, said the initiative to help new buyers on to the property ladder was “exactly the tonic the housing market needed”.

“It will give young people in their 20s and 30s renewed hope of buying their own home with a deposit of just a few thousand pounds – precisely the opportunity which their parents’ generation took for granted,” he added.

The Home Builders Federation said the measures addressed the major constraints to home building – the lack of mortgage availability, the planning system and over regulation.

HBF Executive Chairman Stewart Baseley said: “The severity of the housing crisis dictates that work doesn’t stop here.

“It is crucial that all yesterday’s announcements are built on, regulation is reduced, land supply increased and the planning system simplified.  The Budget shows ministers are listening and serious about tackling our housing crisis. This is a very positive start.

“The Chancellor’s commitment to switch to a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ based planning system, where the default answer is ‘yes’, is also a positive statement of intent.

“If the Government is to meet its commitment to increase housing supply, more permissioned land must be made available.”

House builders still believe that further action on reducing regulation is required, to supplement announcements today that the Minister will write to Local Authorities with regards to Section 106 ‘infrastructure tariff’ payments if more potential housebuilding sites are to become viable.

Dr Neil Bentley, CBI Deputy Director-General, said: “In the short-term, the Firstbuy Direct initiative will inject much needed confidence into the housing market and create new house-building jobs.

“However, funding for the scheme only runs until the end of next year and in the longer-term we need an approach which meets our growing housing needs.”

Latest news

Bouygues/Murphy JV confirmed for £2.3bn Thames tunnel job

BMJV clinches 4.2km Lower Thames Crossing road tunnel job
2 days ago

Berkeley keeping close eye on subbies as market softens

Supply chain insolvency now bigger threat than build cost rises
1 day ago

Roofing firm fined £881,000 after double fall

Court hears of two falls on sites involving same contractor
2 days ago

Plans in for £450m Coventry city centre regeneration

Work is expected to start next summer on City Centre South scheme
1 day ago

Galliford Try to upgrade Red Arrows base

Contractor seals quartet of RAF base upgrades
1 day ago

Strabag tunnel drive in Yorkshire sets new world record

Woodsmith potash mine tunnelling project to be included in Guinness World Records
2 days ago

McLaren and Arlington to develop York Central site

Developer deal signed for one of the UK’s largest city centre regeneration schemes
2 days ago

Watkin Jones plans 36-storey Glasgow tower

The Ard student rooms scheme will be Glasgow's second tallest building
2 days ago

Balfour Beatty on track for solid set of results

Country's largest contractor on course to meet financial targets
2 days ago

Brymor Group Southern heads for CVA

Hampshire builder applies for Company Voluntary Arrangement with its creditors.
2 days ago

Former Costain transport chief joins Aecom

Sue Kershaw takes up US-based vice president job with consultant
3 days ago

Industry’s best construction managers revealed

More than 80 now in the running for delayed awards: Full list
3 days ago

Materials prices plummet as housing demand slumps

Buyers report biggest fall in purchasing costs for 14 years
3 days ago

Welsh contractor Andrew Scott targets £90m turnover

Profit and revenue up at Port Talbot-based civils and building firm
3 days ago

M-AR buyer starts round of redundancies

30 jobs at risk after modular firm bought out of administration
3 days ago

First HS2 viaduct completes deck beam installation

EKFB completes beams for first of project's 50 major viaducts
3 days ago

Fatal accident at Laing O’Rourke Oxford site

Work suspended on site after tragedy
4 days ago

Homes lead the way as Bancon Group boosts turnover

Homes and contracting group looking to further growth in 2024
3 days ago

L&G Modular Homes scheme replaced by traditional build

Wolverhampton council chooses new partner and build method for £150m project
3 days ago

£33m Plymouth city centre homes scheme approved

Spring start for Bath Street scheme in Millbay regeneration area
3 days ago

Balfour renews £330m Lincolnshire highways deal

Firm will use its new operational control hub to promptly address network issues
4 days ago

Three Caledonian Modular-built schools to be demolished

DfE confirms Essex, Somerset and Northampton schools will be bulldozed and rebuilt
4 days ago

Gilbert-Ash takes £30m Tate Liverpool revamp

Work to start in the New Year on remodelling of iconic 1846 warehouse
4 days ago

HS2 Solihull mass transit enabling works out to bid

Bidding for £60m main works to start early next year
4 days ago

Modular health specialist Vanguard rescues M-AR

Deal with administrators sees Vanguard add production capacity with 100,00 sq ft offsite factory
4 days ago

Torsion forms JV to build £90m Leeds resi tower

Construction to start in January on one of Leeds' tallest towers
4 days ago

Approved change to concrete ‘recipe’ to slash carbon emissions

New approved concrete mixes will be able to blend finely ground limestone and fly ash
5 days ago

Network Rail unveils Cardiff South Central masterplan

Plans being drawn up for major housing-led mixed-use scheme
5 days ago

McLaren Living to revamp Watford police station site

Developer to submit plans for a major mixed-use development
5 days ago

National Grid £12.8bn HV civils framework hits market

Firms needed for major power line links and high voltage direct current converter stations
5 days ago

Contractor services