• Inefficiencies and lack of clarity within the planning system;
• Lack of available finance; and
• Recent changes to the taxation system.
Very little, however, was said of the importance of the construction industry and its ability to respond to the increased volumes required. In our view the construction sector does not currently have the ability to scale up to meet the proposed delivery targets and resource is already stretched against a backdrop of marginal viability for developers and contractors alike. Modular construction gained significant exposure at the conference, with Berkeley Homes committing to 20% of its new delivery to be modular. Whilst we agree that modular construction will assist in the long term, this build method is not currently easily accessible to SMEs and will be constrained to the larger sites and housebuilders where economies of scale can be derived.
Our view is that grass roots training in the form of apprenticeships and upskilling existing teams is vital to the long term sustainability of the Housing sector. Both private and public developers will benefit from a 'Partnership' led approach to the procurement of construction services which is echoed in the sites highlighted below."
Oliver Hutley, Group Managing Director