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Kenilworth, Warwickshire, United Kingdom, 2007/10/03 - The Construction Centre.co.uk today highlighted its concern over the reduction in the development of new build homes throughout the UK, over the last ten years.
It is thought that environmental issues are partly to blame for the housing shortfall and the consequences could be far reaching.
The Construction Centre.co.uk in reviewing the current new build statistics looked back to see what factors caused the decline in new builds and what measures need to be taken in order to restore the balance.
In 1997 Lord Richard Rogers was commissioned to review the UK’s urban situation. The report concluded that the UK’s expansion into the countryside should be reduced by rebuilding on “brownfield” sites which are generally derelict areas which have previously been used for residential or industrial purposes within cities. At the time it was estimated that 3.8 million new households would be needed by 2021, and the government was intending that brownfield sites would provide the solution, satisfying both social and environmental issues.
However the result of this has eventually led to a reduction in the number of new build homes which currently stands at around 160,000 to 200,000 per year.
With the amount of “greenfield” sites (new land available for development) reduced and a diminishing number of brownfield opportunities becoming available, land is becoming harder to find for developers.
The last ten years has seen a dramatic rise in the demand for homes with the boom in housing investments and easily available mortgages but the construction industry has not been able to respond accordingly. Hence, house prices in the UK have risen, while the number of new build developments remains at an all time low.
According to James Heartfield “author of Let’s Build!, “the UK housing stock stands at about 24 million, which means if they are to last for around 100 years then we need to build around 240,000 a year to replenish existing stock.” He adds “John Stewart of the Housebuilders Federation estimates that at current levels of replacement, houses built today will have to stand for 1,200 years.”
As impractical as this situation appears, it is likely the new build housing market will continue to develop fewer homes than needed. The Construction Centre.co.uk believes with so many new environmental issues now prevalent throughout the industry, it is time perhaps for the Government to review UK housing policies and investigate alternative ways of building which will still satisfy the environmentalists, the Code for Sustainable Homes, carbon emission targets and which bolsters the UK construction industry in this arena.
Richard Simmons Managing Director at The constructionCentre.co.uk and a property developer for over 30 years said “There are now so many regulations in place that the housing development market has become stifled. It is a tall order to establish a housing policy which will suit everyone, but just as progress is being made in the construction industry with regard to sustainability, so I believe, can progress be made for the new build developer.”
The Construction Centre.co.uk believes the housing shortage situation will not disappear and with current lending uncertainties and fears of a house price crash. With falling house prices, rising demand, coupled with a market where developers are expected to over compete for scarce land even when confidence is generally very low following the Northern Rock debacle, in many ways, the UK could be poised on the brink of a new kind of national crisis.
The Construction Centre: Number 1 for delivering results on products and people
Targeted at consumers and the building industry, The Construction Centre has the largest online directory containing over 10,000 UK product manufacturers and suppliers with over 97,000 product search terms. Additionally there are over 50,000 contact details for merchants, industry professionals, tradesmen and contractors. Local Authority planning websites, trade publications and jobs can also be directly accessed from The Construction Centre.
Based in Warwickshire The Construction Centre is part of the UK250 Ltd group.