What are the industries views on the new government?

Following Labour’s convincing win in the general election, housebuilders are optimistic about the new government’s housing commitments.

Andy Hill OBE, CEO of the Hill Group, called on Prime Minister Sir Keir Starmer to prioritize a comprehensive housing strategy by the end of 2024, advocating for a significant reform of the planning system to empower professional planning officers over local politics.

James Dickens, MD of Wavensmere Homes, welcomed the moderate party’s victory and Labour’s planning reform assurances, particularly regarding brownfield build rates. He emphasized the need for more first-time buyer opportunities.

Ian Jones, CEO of Backhouse, warned that focusing solely on demand-side incentives without addressing supply constraints could drive up house prices. He stressed the urgency of overcoming supply-side issues to meet the 1.5 million new homes goal in five years.

Mark White, MD of Bargate Homes, was encouraged by Labour’s clear direction but urged bold actions, such as reinstating top-down housing targets and reversing harmful changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). He highlighted the challenge of implementing changes at the local authority level and the industry’s eagerness for Labour’s detailed housing plans.

HBF’s Neil Jefferson also commented: “We welcome the government’s commitments to planning. The recent weakening of the planning system and the lack of capacity in local authority planning departments are the biggest current constraints on delivery. Building the homes the country needs will address the social issues our housing crisis is creating, provide young people with access to decent housing, and create tens of thousands of jobs and boost investment in communities in every area of the country.”

David Thomas, Barratt’s CEO, said: “The country urgently needs more new homes of all types and tenures. We are ready and eager to work with the new government to help them build 1.5 million homes across the next parliament, unlocking planning and helping first-time buyers access affordable finance, ultimately helping more families own a high quality, sustainable, new home.”