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Bewley Homes’ Managing Director Andrew Brooks:

15 Mar 2023

“We are naturally disappointed that housebuilding was not a key element of the Chancellor’s budget today. We feel there was scope for him to help the industry and announce measures to reduce the chronic shortage of homes across the UK and encourage more people onto the property ladder.

The industry faces major challenges and we will continue to press the government for better conditions to meet demand for housing.

At the present we are struggling to deliver one third of the target figure of 300,000 per annum across the country and this has a direct impact on the local economy, where investment in building has a wide spread of benefits to a community.

With the UK teetering on the brink of a technical recession for the past quarter, the economy really needed a boost to aid growth from the Chancellor, especially the housebuilding sector which employs a significant amount of people directly and in-directly and which is a major contributor towards infrastructure costs.

Perhaps we should not have expected the big give-aways until the Autumn budget, but in a sensible response to help home ownership, we need to have more assistance for reducing the differential between the cost of a home and the average wage.

The budget statement has announced a dozen new Investment Zones which will have more relaxed planning controls. This should also be extended so that controls are released on all councils as the planning system is stifling the supply of housing which not only damages the economy, but with an increasing number of people on housing waiting lists, the impact will be felt for generations wanting to be homeowners.

A better functioning planning system which helps to deliver more homes overall will inevitably raise the bar in starter homes and for those who see the goal of ownership as beyond their reach.”