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Osborne vows to build more new homes

George Osborne used his party conference speech in Manchester this week to reaffirm the Conservative policy toward housing. The Chancellor George Osborne during his speech to Conservative Party conference in Manchester described the Tories as “the builders” with a plan for a prosperous future for working people.

The Chancellor announced plans to sweep away planning rules delaying house building on brownfield sites this autumn in a bid to boost the number of new build homes being delivered by developers across the UK.

The Government has also pledged to spend an extra £5 building on housing schemes, as well as other projects, and has set up a new independent national board to review spending priorities across various sectors, including house building.

Mr Osborne told the conference in Manchester, “Building doesn’t come easy and especially when it comes to new homes and infrastructure that the country needs. “We are going to get many more homes built for families to buy, we’re sweeping away planning rules on brownfield sites, this autumn we will direct our housing budget towards new homes for sale.

“We will give housing association tenants the right to buy. We’ve had enough of people who own their own home lecturing others about why they can’t own their own one too.”

In total, the Chancellor used the word ‘build’ 25 times in his speech in order to get his point across.

However, John McDonnell (right), Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, has attacked George Osborne for what he said was the Government’s failure to develop the number of new homes needed to meet growing demand in this country. “He (Mr Osborne) said the Tories are the ‘builders’ but he has sat on the side lines for the last five years and failed to tackle the housing crisis in this country – as a result house building is at its lowest level in peacetime since the 1920s,” said McDonnell.

The Government recently announced plans to deliver 1 million new build homes in England by 2020, which equates to 200,000 homes a year, in a bid to address the growing housing crisis.

As the country looks to increase housing supply from the very low levels of recent years the increased number of homes being planned is extremely welcome. However, the main issue for developers is the complexity often involved when it comes to navigating planned homes through the planning system – a process that continues to take far too long, delaying work starting on many of the sites, according to Stewart Baseley (left), Executive Chairman of the HBF. He said, “One of the biggest constraints on the industry’s ability to meet the new level of demand and deliver further sustained increases in build rates is the planning process. How quickly we get more sites to the point where we can actually start to lay bricks will be a major influence on future house building levels.”

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