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Our comments on the Autumn Budget

COMMENTS ON AUTUMN BUDGET 2017: Jonathan Dyke Bsc Hons MRICS – Strategic Land Director – IM Land

Additional funding for housing

“The £44bn additional funding announced is not only welcome, but essential if we are to deliver the 300,000 new homes a year that this budget has clearly targeted. And we delighted see the Government is committing real support to the challenge of improving the construction skills in the UK with the £34m boost to training. The shot in the arm for first time buyers will help the industry as a whole and this, combined with the boost to the Help to Buy scheme, is great news for our housebuilding economy in the UK.

Reforms to planning

“Delivering 300,000 new homes each year is a significant challenge and will require a range of solutions from city centre developments to urban extensions. The key is that any new housing is in a sustainable location which is well connected and with the right infrastructure.”

“The current system may not be perfect but further changes to the planning system will put added pressure on local authorities that already have stretched resources. Therefore, we welcome the commitment to providing more help and support for local authorities.

“The issue of planning permissions not being built out is certainly not as simple as housebuilders sitting on sites. There are various things that can prevent consented sites being built on – such as viability and shortages in the construction industry – and we welcome an inquiry that provides greater transparency on these issues.”

Construction skills

“Meeting the Chancellor’s ambitious targets will require an available and skilled construction workforce. In the long term we need to be attracting the next generation of talent into the sector but we have an immediate priority to create the skills we need to deliver new homes today.
“It is good to see the announcement of £34m to develop construction skills across the UK but as ever, this needs a true partnership between public and private sector to make sure we make the most of this funding and creating the workforce that will deliver our target of 300,000 new homes a year.”