Future MPs Urged to Think Big

Persuading future MPs to develop a national strategy to improve the energy and water efficiency of the UK’s 25m existing homes will be crucial for consumer protection, the building industry has said. The watchdog body Ofgem estimates hundreds of thousands of homes that have had cavity wall insulation fitted under government backed green energy schemes have failed. The Chartered Institute of Building, CIOB, has launched a pre-election manifesto to educate prospective MPs in the run-up to the general election on [...]

Govt Must Commit to Retrofit

More than 250,000 new entrants across multiple disciplines are needed to make the UK’s existing 27m homes reach net zero by 2050, according to a new report.  Roadmap of Skills for Net-Zero: Competencies for Domestic Retrofit is calling for a consistent definition of competencies among manufacturers, installers, and professional assessors. Emissions from homes account for nearly half of the UK’s built environment carbon footprint.  Construction Leadership Council’s people and skills industry sponsor and Travis Perkins chief executive Nick Roberts said: [...]

Smaller housebuilders could benefit from councils’ new land-buying powers

SME developers and housebuilders should get a greater slice of the action under local authorities’ new powers to buy land for affordable or social housing.  Councils and Homes England can now acquire land through compulsory purchase orders, CPOs, providing it’s in the public interest to enable affordable or social housing or for health or education.   Levelling up minister Jacob Young said: “Our changes will act as a catalyst for investment in our towns and cities and drive much-needed regeneration across [...]

Biodiversity net gain is making small housebuilding schemes a nightmare

SME housebuilders developing sites of less than ten homes are finding biodiversity net gain rules so complicated and costly they are leaving the industry. The rubric for improving or creating new habitats went live on the 2nd of April for small sites under the Environment Act, 2021. National Federation of Builders, NFB, policy and market insight head Rico Wojtulewicz said: “It’s just not delivering. There’s not enough off-site credits available and price gouging is going on.” For example, if a [...]

Housebuilders urge the Government to set tough water efficiency targets

A cross-industry working group is calling for mandatory targets to cut individual water consumption at home from 110 litres a day to 105 by 2025 – a 16 per cent drop. The Future Homes Hub’s Water Ready report wants the government to draft a ten-year water efficiency roadmap with targets enshrined in building regulations for 2025, 2030 and 2035. Hub chair and Barratt Developments chief executive David Thomas said: “We are already seeing the pressures on water supply affect the [...]

Crane movement embargos causing headache for builders

Getting cranes, roofs, and steel girders to arrive on site without major delays is becoming more and more difficult claims the construction industry. They say that increasingly police forces across England are imposing travel embargos typically from 6.30 until 10am and 4 until 6.30pm creating delays that are adding to construction costs. The National Federation of Builders, NFB, chief executive Richard Beresford said: “A productive nation is nothing without a well-functioning construction industry, but we are increasingly finding that the [...]

Bristol Temple Quarter multi-million-pound regeneration moves a step closer

One of the largest regeneration schemes in Europe has reached a major milestone with the creation of a limited liability partnership. The new Bristol Temple Quarter limited liability partnership will be looking for a partner in the coming months to redevelop 130 hectares of brownfield land in two connected phases over the next 25 years. Bristol City Council chief executive Stephen Peacock said: “This is yet another major milestone for Temple Quarter as we aim to deliver 10,000 new homes [...]

Liverpool to speed up regeneration with its own development corporation

Liverpool has unveiled ambitious plans to repurpose old sites and develop new housing to serve those working in its emerging industries such as life sciences and IT. It is the first city to set up a locally-led development corporation under powers established by the levelling up and regeneration act. Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram said: “Private sector investors and developers are beginning to look at the city in a new light and specific sites that have stood vacant and [...]

Labour’s Rachel Reeves on Planning Reform

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves’ pledge to reform planning and bring back mandatory local authority housing delivery targets has received the thumbs up from housebuilders. Ms Reeves Mais described the planning system as “the single greatest obstacle” to the UK’s economic success. “Planning dysfunction means that land is costly and inefficiently utilised, making the cost of building infrastructure in the UK significantly higher than in most developed economies, meaning higher energy prices, poorer transport, and inadequate digital connectivity,” she told an [...]

Housing survey reveals planning permissions at an all-time low

The number of sites that gained planning permission in 2023 dropped to the lowest level for a 12-month period since The Housing Pipeline Report  began in 2006. The 10,527 sites were granted permission in 2023 - a 16 per cent decrease on 2022 and a 23 per cent fall on 2021. The volume is about half the average annual permissions granted between 2015 and 2019, according to the report by market intelligence consultancy Glenigan for the Home Builders Federation, HBF. [...]

Biodiversity net gain pushing small housebuilders over the edge

Biodiversity rules pushing small housebuilders over the edge Just three weeks into new rules on improving biodiversity uplifts on new housing schemes SME developers are facing a barrage of difficulties and extra costs. These include councils’ inflexibility to consider more than one biodiversity option in section 106 agreements and pushing up costs to the extent that offering affordable housing is no longer viable. National Federation of Builders, NFB, policy and market insight head Rico Wojtulewicz said: “At the moment we [...]

Construction industry calls for tax breaks to make properties greener

Stamp duty rebates for buyers who make their homes more energy efficient and for pensioners downsizing are among the tax breaks the property industry would like in the forthcoming budget. The National Federation of Builders, NFB, wants a stamp duty rebate given to homeowners who improve the energy performance ratings of their place to ‘C’ or above within two years of purchase. They also want the tax to be scrapped for new build homes with ‘A’ grade efficiency ratings. NFB [...]