London plan is encouraging for SME house builders, says HBA
The New London Plan, announced by Mayor Sadiq Khan on 29 November, takes a realistic approach to development and supports high-quality design as a method of building the communities of tomorrow.
A focus on small sites, mixed use opportunities, public land, the edge of communities, making best use of infrastructure and SMEs shows the mayor has given development in the capital much thought. The mayor is also committed to delivering the Construction Academy Scheme, but he is honest about the need to make sure construction projects also retain staff.
For SME house builders, whose business model is predicated on reputation and high-quality workmanship, the London Plan will help deliver a greater number of opportunities, as long as local authorities remain committed to implementing the changes. SMEs have been delivering this London Plan for many years and in many ways, policy is now catching up.
Richard Beresford, chief executive of the National Federation of Builders (NFB), said: “Despite the majority of homes in London being delivered by the largest developers, some of our members consistently win design and delivery awards. As local employers, SMEs don’t just train local people, they retain them too. We are therefore delighted to see the London Plan accurately describe a vision that SMEs already deliver.”
Rico Wojtulewicz, senior policy advisor for the House Builder Association (HBA), added: “However, as we have seen with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), good intention isn’t necessarily delivered through the planning process and so we implore the Mayor to do all he can to explain his vision to London’s planners, councillors, communities and businesses. It would be a real tragedy if his ambition was stifled by a lack of buy-in.”