BSRIA has responded to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.
Key points to industry:
- Planning reform to release land in areas where the pressure is greatest.
- A five-year, £44 billion housing programme, to help raise annual housing supply to 300,000 by the mid-2020s.
- A new £3 billion Affordable Homes Guarantee scheme, to support delivery of around 30,000 affordable homes.
- £717m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund to unlock up to 37,000 new homes on sites in West London, Cheshire, Didcot, and Cambridge (the latter two being at opposite ends of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc).
- Proposals for an increased proportion of green gas in the grid: advancing decarbonisation of our mains gas supply.
- Introduction of a Future Homes Standard, mandating the end of fossil-fuel heating systems in all new houses from 2025: delivering lower carbon and lower fuel bills too.
- Three million new “high-quality” apprenticeships being rolled-out.
- To specifically help SMEs take on more apprentices – a £700 million package of reforms is being brought forward to the start of the new financial year in April.
Julia Evans, chief executive of BSRIA, said:
“It is heartening to see that the Chancellor, Philip Hammond, has committed to delivering a set of strategies to boost housebuilding. BSRIA is especially encouraged that his aims cover: affordable housing for first-time buyers wishing to get on the housing ladder and freeing up land in a range of geographical areas across the UK where housing is urgently needed.
“BSRIA’s members, and the wider construction industry, will, indeed, rise to this challenge, ensuring that, not only quantity, but the right quality and environmental standards are achieved. The domino effect of the economic and social benefits for all those in this supply chain is invaluable.
“BSRIA’s mantra is that quantity must not compromise quality.”
On climate change:
“BSRIA is reassured that the Chancellor has put sustainable energy on the radar to combat climate change. His goal of all new homes to be heated sustainably from 2025 will help achieve this. The benefit of lower fuel bills for home owners is also a great boon. The overwhelming issue will be the adequacy of supply and the availability of infrastructure to support this.”
“Measures that help to attract, train and retain workers into the industry are supported by BSRIA. This is one of the biggest challenges industry is facing today. Apprentices are a clear mechanism for industry to take on new talent and equip workers with the skills they need to flourish. Put simply: an apprenticeship can take you anywhere.
“Only last week – BSRIA was calling on industry to make the most of National Apprenticeship Week – declaring that young people, engineers and entrepreneurs alike can rise to the top through traineeships and apprenticeships.”