Meeting Housing Demand – A United Approach
Released in February 2017 after a number of delays, the Housing White Paper was created to give the official Government line on how the UK could best address the problems found in the housing market.
The overarching theme, as stated by the Prime Minister, Theresa May, in the paper’s introduction is that “We need to build many more houses, of the type people want to live in, in the places they want to live.”
The document discusses two key ways of achieving this, planning for the right homes in the right places and building homes more quickly.
There are several suggestions made as to how this would be done.
The White Paper details the ways in which additional land can be made available by increasing land contributions from brownfield areas and considering greater housing density in urban areas (where appropriate). Meanwhile, it also states that construction can be completed more quickly by simplifying the planning process and holding developers to account for the prompt delivery of new homes.
While these measures, if properly implemented, will give the sector a much-needed boost, The Government is also looking to refurbishment/renovation projects as a means of meeting its housing target.
Having been involved in many of these projects, the FDS team is well aware of the advantages that this approach can bring. By working with an existing superstructure, costs can be kept to a minimum, while commercial properties can also offer prime locations and attractive design features.
In any case, if the construction industry is going to meet the targets put in place and build faster with a shorter planning process it’s vital that each party works together as efficiently as possible. It’s well known that delays at one stage can have a knock-on effect on other trades, leading to larger problems further down the line.
By involving experienced experts from the earliest possible stage, and consulting with them from design through to completion, project times can be minimised without having an impact on quality or safety. From our own experience at FDS, early-stage involvement can provide significant benefits, from greater design freedom to increased profitability.