The publication of All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for SME housebuilders report on ways to improve the UK planning system has been welcomed by Aldermore bank
The APPG for SME housebuilders asked its members for their views on the issues that they face in the planning process and how it could be improved.
The government has a target of delivering 300,000 homes a year to meet the growing demand in the UK. However, the current planning system is often regarded as unfit for purpose and is preventing homes from being built.
The APPG’s views have now been captured in a report published this week, which Aldermore has supported.
Chaired by Andrew Lewer MBE MP, the APPG for SME housebuilders is to submit the report to the housing minister Christopher Pincher MP ahead of the launch of the government’s ‘Planning White Paper’ later this year.
Announced alongside the Budget, the White Paper aims to “modernise the planning system, ensuring it supports the delivery of homes local people need”.
This report contains 17 recommendations and is based upon the written evidence submitted to the APPG enquiry from SME housebuilders.
Some of the key recommendations include:
- More certainty and consistency in the planning system
- 26 week planning guarantee
- Strategic sites to be earmarked for a percentage of SME housebuilders
- The need for an efficient and well-funded planning system (especially at local authority level)
- Design reviews to take place early on in the process
- Small Site Register to assist SME housebuilders in delivery and meet local housing needs.
‘Change the planning system for the good’
Tim Boag, group managing director, business finance at Aldermore bank, said: “Aldermore is backing a number of SME housebuilders to develop sites across the UK and they tell us of the planning issues they are experiencing, many of which are described by the APPG in this timely report.
“These cause delays and prevent new homes from being developed for young people, families, and for older members of our society.
“Up until the 1990s, SME housebuilders were responsible for many of the new homes and housing estates that were built across the UK.
“We now need them more than ever if the UK is to achieve the government target of building 300,000 new homes a year.
“Aldermore supports the report’s findings and hope they help change the planning system for the good of both SME housebuilders and the delivery of much-needed homes.”
Andrew Lewer, added: “SME housebuilders are the front-line troops in our national ambition to both increase housebuilding, quality of build, and enhance of the reputation of construction as an optimal career choice.
“The quality and the quantity of the responses we have received underlines the constructive approach in which the APPG operates.
“People who really know what they are talking about have given their time and their effort towards the stimulating responses to be found in our report.
“We will try our best to ensure that the views our members help reform the planning system fit for the future and thank Aldermore for their support.”
A full copy of the report and recommendations is available here.