In a speech, given in Dudley on Tuesday 30 June the Prime Minister outlined far-reaching spending plans for British building, alongside the most sweeping changes to planning regulations since the Second World War.
Key elements of Johnson’s plan include reform of planning regulations to make it easier than ever before for homeowners to extend their homes, £100m worth of investment for UK infrastructure (including 29 additional road networks) and £12bn of investment, across eight years, to strengthen Britain’s affordable housing stock. PBM takes a look at the responses issued by manufacturers.
Joe Hudson, CEO at Ibstock plc, believes the funding is crucial for the construction sector as it leads the country’s economic fightback. He commented: “The Prime Minister’s speech on Tuesday gave the UK’s construction industry cause for cautious optimism and underlined the pivotal role it plays in powering the British economy.
“The pledges outlined within the speech are a real statement of intent from the Government to put building and construction at the heart of the UK’s economic revival; a commitment we wholeheartedly endorse.
“In his speech, the Prime Minister vowed to get Britain building again; a sentiment we have echoed in recent months. We are playing our part by ramping up production across our nationwide factory network, to ensure we can maintain unbroken supply to the industry at a time when housebuilders, architects, merchants, and building contractors need it most.
“We welcome this initiative and hope that it is just the beginning of a wider programme of investment to drive the UK’s economic recovery.”
Actis UK and Ireland Sales Director Mark Cooper said: “This is an opportunity not only to help ease the current housing crisis, but also, of course to secure jobs and livelihoods in the wake of the devastation wrought by coronavirus.
“Getting the country building again is, of course, extremely welcome. But what we do need to ensure is that this is carried out in a sustainable manner. We mustn’t allow a sense of urgency to get in the way of the longer-term importance of getting it right. These homes must be built in a thermally efficient way. We have the technology and the ability to do this.
“Timber frame construction is around 20% faster than traditional brick and block. In addition, installing Actis Hybrid insulation products, which can be done offsite, is easier, quicker and cleaner than many alternatives and can be carried out by less experienced workers. This frees up time for highly skilled tradespeople to work on more complex aspects of the build – essential in times of skills shortages.”
Mark continued: “Obviously this is a radical way to ensure we increase our supply of much-needed homes,” explained Mark. “But we do share concerns with bodies like RIBA and the UK Green Building Council. It would be interesting to see what measures are put in place to ensure these conversions are energy efficient.
“It is excellent news that the government wants to get Britain building again and provide much needed homes and jobs. What we need is some clear guidance on how to do this in a thermally efficient manner.”