Smaller house builders held back by lack of land
- Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Smaller house builders are struggling to find land suitable for development, according to new research.
The Federation of Master Builders’ (FMB) annual House Builders’ Survey found that a ‘lack of available and viable land’ is the biggest barrier to delivering new homes for two thirds of smaller house builders.
Half see the planning system and difficulties in accessing finance as other serious challenges, while 40 per cent believe the construction skills crisis is a major problem.
The under-resourcing of local authority planning departments is considered the most important cause of delays in the planning process.
Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “The biggest challenge facing SME house builders is the planning process. Councils need to find a way of allocating and granting planning permission for more small sites.
You may also want to watch:
“The current focus on large sites is squeezing out smaller developers, which is reducing competition in the housing market at a time when we need more, not less, choice.”
Berry added that recent government reforms had yet to have an impact: “It is absurd that the planning system treats a 300 home application in largely the same way it treats a three home application.
- 1 In pictures: First Comedy Garden is a complete laughfest
- 2 The latest court results for the St Albans area
- 3 Oaklands College being investigated for breach of planning over nursery closure
- 4 St Albans named among England's most expensive property hotspots
- 5 7 of the best brunches in St Albans and Harpenden
- 6 Ammunition found in bag on St Albans street
- 7 From Hertfordshire to the Strictly dancefloor: 7 Strictly Come Dancing contestant from the county
- 8 'Abusive and aggressive' St Albans man given Criminal Behaviour Order
- 9 8 filming locations of Netflix royal drama The Crown in Hertfordshire
- 10 Teenager strangled in attack in St Albans park
“While the Government has attempted to remove red tape in its drive to increase the number of homes being built, it would appear that its reforms have yet to make a difference.
“95 per cent of SME house builders report that the information demands being placed on them during the planning application process have either increased or remain as bad as they were before.
“Our survey shows that the primary cause of unnecessary delays is the planning process, with the under-resourcing of planning departments being the most important concern.”