The Conservative Party’s plan to deliver 200,000 new homes for first-time buyers is a welcome ambition but needs to be delivered by a range of builders to ensure good quality design and diversity, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).
Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The FMB supports the ambition of the Starter Homes policy to improve options and affordability for first-time buyers. This is a model which can be made to work, but it will be important to make sure that it is delivered by a wide range of builders operating at different scales – and that most of the Starter Homes built are additional to those which would otherwise be delivered.
“Taken together, announcements on housing set out by the Conservatives over the last few days amount to a welcome set of proposals. The continuation of more relaxed rules on home extensions until 2020 will support extra work for small builders and provide them with greater long-term business certainty. What’s more, these proposals are good for homeowners as they give them greater freedom to improve their properties with the consent of their neighbours – it should be recognised that by and large these arrangements have worked well.”
Mr Berry concluded: “Moves to earmark brownfield sites for the delivery of custom-built homes could significantly increase opportunities for small builders, leading to more homes and greater choice. We are pleased to see the Conservative Party taking important steps like these to support smaller builders. We hope that focus will continue and that these policies will draw the support they deserve.”