The government's "serious steps" towards getting Britain building have been welcomed by Forticrete.

The concrete roof tiles manufacturer says it is reassued by the "upbeat" approach that the government has shown, during the Conservative Party conference, to achieving its target of building 300,000 new houses a year. It also welcomed the government's intention to reform the planning process, to speed up the building process.

But it also urged ministers to take the opportunity to set new benchmarks for housing design and materials, to encourage local authorities to consider different materials that will cut the time it takes for new houses to be built.

During this week's conference, James Brokenshire, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, reaffirmed the government’s commitment to achieving its housing goal, saying that housing continued to be its biggest domestic priority. And Prime Minister Theresa May yesterday announced that local councils would be freed from the current cap on the amount of houses they can build.

John Lambert, Forticrete's Managing Director, (pictured) said: "It is reassuring that the government is upbeat about reaching its ambitious targets, for both those who are looking to get on the property ladder and suppliers to this market, and how it plans to achieve them.

"We particularly welcome a plan led approach to development and removing barriers in order to speed up the planning process. Such reforms will ensure more there is more opportunity for development through smarter use of land and space.

"However, any planning reforms should also be seen as an opportunity set the benchmark on how houses are designed and the materials which are specified - a key issue as the speed of build is an important aspect in achieving the government’s target.

"The pursuit of materials that blend with the local vernacular is now the ‘norm’. But all too often, planning authorities seek to use traditional building materials because it is what they are familiar with. But it is well documented that there are lengthy waits for some building materials coupled with rising prices. So planning authorities need to consider the alternatives when making their decisions.

"It is clear that the government is taking serious steps to get Britain building. We now wait for the Autumn Budget at the end of this month to see if there are any further details on the progress being made to meet their ambitious targets."