The governments’ recent plans to relax restrictions on water pollution has been blocked by the House of Lords.
The government put forward plans to remove EU-era ‘nutrient neutrality’ rules last month, with the intention to encourage housebuilding amid current sector slump, and support its own housebuilding target.
UK housebuilding has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade, with only 898 major residential projects approved between April and June this year, says trade radio station Fix Radio.
Approval rates for major residential projects between April and June has fallen by 11%, in comparison to the same time last year; it’s the first quarterly figure to drop below 1,000 since 2012.
This decline has been accredited by Fix Radio to policy uncertainty, created by failed attempts at planning reforms. In a report by the National Planning Barometer, six in 10 participants said their planning teams lacked the resources to do the most efficient job, citing a “fundamental difference of opinion” between planners and councillors.
Multiple reports from key players in the sector attribute the decline to current state of the housing market, higher borrowing costs, overwhelming work schedule as a result of a smaller workforce, and new directives such as the ULEZ, which has left 27%% of SMEs in the trade on the verge of breaking point, says Fix Radio.
An additional 225,000 workers are needed by 2027 to keep up with the UK’s construction demand and outlined targets.
“The government target of 300,000 houses to be built per year, even before Covid, was extremely unrealistic for a couple of reasons,” says Fix Radio presenter, Clive Holland. “After Brexit, a lot of our support teams went back to their own countries, we didn’t have enough people in our industry, we’re already short of trades people as it is.”
The restriction removal could have seen over 100,000 new builds previously delayed, greenlit between now and 2030, with billions in estimated economy contributions and hundreds of supply chain jobs.