Secretary of State joins industry leaders for HBF Policy Conference

27 Apr, 2024

Secretary of State joins industry leaders for HBF Policy Conference

The 2024 HBF Policy Conference took place this Wednesday, 24 April. The event featured a number of leading industry speakers and a keynote address from Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing, and Communities, Michael Gove.

Stewart Baseley, HBF’s Executive Chairman, opened the conference with an overview of the challenges the industry has faced in the last year, calling for Government to take action to resolve nutrient neutrality issues and fix the planning system.

In his address, Michael Gove said the government has enjoyed a “frank and open” dialogue with the industry to address housebuilding’s challenges, and that in further conversations, he wished to “make sure we can identify those remaining challenges that should be addressed”.

Gove maintained that local plans were the way to ensure a meaningful increase in housing supply and that he was intervening where they were not up to date.

Dame Kate Barker, economist and author of the 2004 Barker Review of Housing Supply, considered the outcome of her 20-year-old report, following the publication of HBF’s Beyond Barker report.

Emma Toms, CEO of the New Homes Quality Board, provided an update on the NHQB's work in the last year, and Esther Dijkstra, Lloyd Banking Group's Managing Director for Intermediaries, presented on the housing market.

From Savills, Lucian Cook, Head of Residential Research, and Emily Williams, Director of Residential Research, examined the sales market and supplied a forecasts of land values, planning, and completions. Alex Rose, Director at Houseful, examined the realities of the current buyers’ market.

The conference concluded with an expert panel on the Future Homes Standard, with insights from DLUHC’s Deputy Director John Palmer, Redrow Homes Chief Executive Matthew Pratt, Keepmoat Homes’ Technical Development Director, Trudie McCormick, and Energy UK's Deputy Director Charles Wood.

The conference was chaired by journalist and broadcaster John Pienaar and was sponsored by DAC Beachcroft, Tamdown and United Trust Bank.

Speaker presentations and photos from the conference are available via the Housebuilder website.