More action needed from Government to hit homebuilding target, says GGF
The Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) was cautiously optimistic in response to housebuilding announcements made at the 2017 Budget.
Despite the Government’s focus on housebuilding, the GGF believes more action is needed to ensure the UK meets the target of building 300,000 homes per year. The GGF was also disappointed the Budget contained no measures to increase the energy efficiency of the UK’s homes, some of the worst performing in Europe.
Governments of all colours have proposed speeding up the planning process and unlocking public sector land, but the UK’s housebuilding rate has remained well below target over the last decade. Therefore, the GGF does not expect to see a sudden surge in housebuilding, particularly at a time when confidence in the construction sector in the year ahead dropped to its lowest level since December 2012.
Of note to GGF members, the Chancellor announced £44bn over five years in capital funding to support housing market and deliver 300,000 homes per year by mid 2020s. This included £630m small sites fund to support the delivery of 40,000 homes, £2.7bn to double Housing Infrastructure Fund. As well as £1.1bn for unlocking strategic sites and £400m more for estate regeneration and £8bn of new financial guarantees to support private housebuilding.
The lack of a ‘Whole House Approach’
All housebuilding programmes should be centred on a ‘Whole House Approach’ to ensure new and existing homes are energy efficient and can keep people warm during winter. The GGF was disappointed the Government failed to include measures to ensure housing stock is energy efficient. In order to keep carbon emissions lower, tackle fuel poverty and help reduce energy bills*, the GGF will urge the Government to provide investment in energy efficient glass and glazing products for families and businesses across the country.
The Chief Executive of the GGF Group, Phil Pluck commented
“While we welcome the Government’s drive to build 300,000 homes per year, there is some way to go before we realise this objective. Our Members are integral to the construction industry, and we will continue to work with Government so they fully appreciate the existing barriers to building more homes.”
He continued: “Further, we are disappointed the Government did not provide additional funding for energy efficient measures in the UK’s domestic and non-domestic housing stock. It is vital the poor performance of the UK housing stock is urgently improved. The Chancellor announced crackdowns on diesel vehicles, but must also recognise the contribution that energy efficient buildings can make to reducing carbon emissions”.