Planning stats conceal house building barriers, says FMB

Published:  01 July, 2015

An increase in the granting of permissions for newbuild homes is no guarantee of a greater number of houses being built, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) statistics show that 261,000 new homes were granted planning permission in the year to March 2015, the highest annual total for eight years.

Brian Berry, FMB chief executive, said: “These statistics show that we are moving in the right direction but unfortunately planning permissions do not always result in homes being delivered.

“To keep pace with demand, we need to deliver 240,000 homes each year and the level of planning permissions being granted might suggest that this target is within easy reach. However, last year we delivered fewer than 120,000 homes.

“We are working closely with government on removing barriers to house building – particularly barriers to small local builders which are recognised as being vital to reaching our overall target for more new homes.

“Obviously, these statistics are positive, but let’s not get distracted from what the actual barriers to building are, such as a growing lack of skilled workers.

“We are facing a skills time bomb with too few bricklayers, site managers, carpenters and joiners to physically build these homes and we are working with government to ensure new apprenticeships can help fill these roles in the medium to longer term.”

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