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Builders: 200,000 new homes a year impossible


Housebuilders have claimed that it would be impossible to build the 200,000 new homes in the UK each year, the amount pledged by Labour, the Liberal Democrats and UKIP.

A survey from estate agents Knight Frank shows that just 9% of the 160 housebuilders asked believe the 200,000 target is achievable, with two thirds thinking that the maximum number of houses that will be able to be built per year is nearer 180,000.

The survey also asked the builders what measures they think the government should take to ensure more housing. 82% believed putting more resources into local planning departments is the most important, followed by improving training in the industry and opening up access to public land.

Head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, Grainne Gilmore, said:
“In the run-up to the election, all political parties agree that the delivery of more new homes is a priority. Yet more than two-thirds of housebuilders believe that under current market conditions, the maximum number of units that can be sustainably delivered each and every year is 180,000 or less.

“Policymakers, especially those in power after the election, may want to heed the calls from housebuilders to beef up planning departments in local authorities, plough more investment into skills and training in the construction sector and provide better access to public sector land, moves which the housebuilding industry is signalling could move the country closer to building enough homes for all.”

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