14 October, 2011

 Disappointing RIBA report publishes statistics in a vacuum and fails to ask the right questions. The right answer is a new planning system

The RIBA report doesn’t once look at reasons behind the sizes of new homes and fails to mention land supply, the planning system or the proposed National Planning Policy Framework. The report does not address viability.
Despite the current housing crisis and incredible pressures on home builders on all of these issues, high customer satisfaction ratings demonstrate that new home buyers are overwhelmingly happy with the product home builders provide and new homes are cheaper to run, warmer and greener.
HBF’s members can only exist if they are able to build houses customers want and can afford.
The Home Builders Federation believes that this report is a missed opportunity concentrating on housing size statistics in a vacuum without addressing any of the issues behind them. In the midst of the current debate about the proposed National Planning Policy Framework, The Case For Space fails to examine land supply, economic viability, inconsistent planning rules and regional variations.

It is imperative that we get a new simplified planning system, creating an environment where more permissioned land is brought forward, current constraints are removed and our members can come together with local communities to build the environmentally-friendly, spacious, well-designed homes they want to build

HBF Executive Chairman, Stewart Baseley said:

“This report is a disappointing missed opportunity. We’ll happily work with RIBA and others but if they are serious about the future of housing in this country they must support the proposed NPPF and ensure that they fully understand the pressures on land and viability that home builders face every day.

“Even with these constraints developers are building the homes that this country desperately needs and providing billions of pounds of investment in infrastructure and the environment.”

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For media enquiries, or to arrange an interview, please contact Tim Collins on 020 7960 1612 / 07813 883 473 or tim.collins@hbf.co.uk

Notes to editors

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) is the representative body of the home building industry in England and Wales. The HBF’s member firms account for some 80% of all new homes built in England and Wales in any one year, and include companies of all sizes, ranging from multi-national, household names through regionally based businesses to small local companies: www.hbf.co.uk