Decision-makers need to understand the intrinsic value of SME house builders, says HBA
The House Builders Association (HBA) – the house building division of the National Federation of Builders (NFB) – responds to Neil Parish MP.
On 5 September, Neil Parish MP argued that the UK needs to build more homes and that popular design remains the best tool to overcome local opposition to new housing.
The House Builders Association (HBA) believes that – while Mr Parish is right in arguing that we need to build more homes – his assertion that people do not like the design of new houses or street layouts misunderstands and neglects the delivery of new homes by small and medium-sized (SME) house builders.
Rico Wojtulewicz, policy advisor for the HBA, said: “SME house builders build smaller developments that local communities both want and need. Working within 15 miles of their head offices, they need to know their market and produce homes and streets that local people actually want to live in. Given their close links with local communities, they consider what a home means to prospective homeowners – such as bespoke design, green spaces, energy efficiency, more floor space – and work to deliver it.”
Wojtulewicz added: “Unfortunately, the incredible role of SMEs is often neglected by the planning process and political discourse. For instance, SME house builders in Devon make up a sizeable majority of the local economy but, since local authorities have excessively focused on enabling large sites for volume developers, work opportunities for SMEs remain inconsistent and scarce.”
The HBA supports Mr Parish in his efforts to continue the conversation around the housing crisis and good design. However, before arguing that the industry is not delivering high quality places to live, the HBA would encourage Mr Parish to understand how homes are built, why and who is actually building them.