Government review to evaluate housebuilding ‘red tape’

Housebuilders will have their say on what they consider to be the barriers to the construction of new homes, in a new ‘Cutting Red Tape’ review launched today by the Government.

Building on the work of the Housing Implementation Task Force, this review will aim to uncover the issues that have the biggest effect on housebuilders and seek the views of smaller firms to understand the unique pressures they face.

The wide-ranging review will capture the experiences of all those involved in building homes, including developers, planners and trade associations.

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We are determined to remove barriers faced by housebuilders to ensure we continue to keep Britain building as quickly and safely as possible.

“We want to hear the views of firms big and small so we can remove unnecessary red tape and help housebuilders do what they do best, building the homes we need.”

The key starting points for the review are based on the priorities raised by the Task Force:

  • roads and infrastructure rules for new housing developments.
  • environmental requirements, particularly EU rules such as the Habitats Directive and wider EU environmental permit requirements.
  • rules that affect utilities (such as electricity, gas and water – as well as broadband infrastructure).
  • The government is also keen to look at the changes made to the Construction, Design and Management Regulations, as well as any examples of EU rules that are being implemented too strictly.

The new Cutting Red Tape review will look at the way the law is enforced, as well as whether the rules themselves are proportionate and fit for purpose.

The responses from housebuilders will lead to government taking concrete steps to remove burdens on business.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “As the industry looks to drive further increases in housing supply we welcome moves to reduce unnecessary regulation and the associated costs. Aside from the planning system there are significant other regulatory processes and charges levied on the industry that can adversely affect viability, but also, critically, delay the ability of home builders to get on site and start building. Reducing red tape will bring more sites into play more quickly and so help the industry deliver more desperately needed homes in the coming years.”

The evidence gathering phase of review will run for 8 weeks and close on 13 January 2016. To contribute to the review, click here.