Government to push through Barker report reforms 10/12/05

Ramesh Sharma

June 1, 2004

The Barker report, which showed increasing numbers of people are locked out of the housing market and unable to find an appropriate home, has prompted the government to announce ambitions to increase new housing supply to 200,000 net additions a year compared to the current level of 150,000.

In his Pre-Budget Report Chancellor Gordon Brown said: “To extend homeownership to another million people in the next five years and take the UK towards the government’s aspiration of 75 per cent homeownership, Britain must put in place long-term reforms to planning and to the mechanisms by which new housing and infrastructure is financed and delivered in both the private and public sector.”

Yvette Cooper, Housing and Planning Minister, added: “The evidence is clear – if we fail to increase the number of new homes within 20 years less than a third of thirty-something couples will be able to afford to buy a home of their own – one in three of today’s ten-year-olds.”

David Bexon, managing director at SmartNewHomes.com, said: “Immediate action is required to allow and incentivise homebuilders to build the properties that homebuyers are demanding in the areas they want them. Oversupply [of inappropriate properties] is a real issue and is down to the government. The Chancellor has made his pledges and it is now time to deliver.”

Jeff Knight, head of marketing services at GMAC-RFC, said: “Bringing forward Barker’s ideas is welcomed as are changes in local planning rules. We should also be seeing initiatives to increase the number of tradespersons in the UK, otherwise who will build the new homes as there seems to be a shortage of skilled tradespersons already?”

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