Plans unveiled by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to create hundreds of thousands of new homes in inner London have been cautiously welcomed by the Build Show – with the caveat that the economic benefits must be ploughed back into the construction industry, to continue driving the recovery forwards.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Mr Pickles revealed his plans for spending the £150 million set aside in the Budget for housing regeneration, which includes promoting affordable, off-site manufactured houses as part of the solution to the current housing crisis.
Stating that more ambitious plans were needed instead of the ‘mere tinkering’ of old, the Communities Secretary’s vision would also see many of the capital’s most neglected inner city estates torn down to make way for low-rise apartment blocks, built to modern day environmental standards.
However, the announcement has been met with a mixed response from the industry, with some commentators questioning the wisdom of using pre-fabricated housing solutions, as well as pointing to concerns about creating a potential ‘bubble’ in the property market.
Paul Godwin, Managing Director of the Build Show comments: “While we welcome any initiative designed to get Britain building, we need to ensure that the benefits are filtered through to the contracting and building sectors of the industry out on site. The construction industry is driving the UK’s wider economic recovery and so it’s essential that we continue to nurture and protect its growth.
“The announcement that the government is planning to build thousands of new homes in the capital is certainly welcome news, but more could be done to support growth in the refurbishment market too. Cutting VAT on residential refurbishments, for example, could boost the economy by a further £15 billion and provide job security for tens of thousands of construction industry workers.”
Brought to market by the organisers of the award winning FIT Show (Fabricator Installer Trade Show), the Build Show will take place at the Birmingham NEC from Tuesday 28th to Thursday 30th April 2015, bringing the industry together for a wealth of business development and networking opportunities, with builders and contractors the clear focus as the sector moves into its most positive phase for years.
For more information please visit www.buildshow.co.uk