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Housing summit aims to boost housing output

This week saw a housing summit at Downing Street as prime minister Theresa May summoned leaders and authorities from the housebuilding sector. The aim was to find ways of accelerating the number of homes being built.

Among those in attendance were heads of major housebuilding companies like Laing O’Rourke, Barratt and Taylor Wimpey, while there were representatives from trade bodies, local authorities, housing associations and various other bodies with a stake in the issue. The meeting was also attended by ministers such as communities secretary Sajid Javid and minister for housing and planning Alok Sharma.

No doubt those depending on a health housebuilding sector for construction jobs will be hoping the summit will bear some fruit. Insulation and shower waterproofing fitters will certainly find their workloads increase if the level of housebuilding actually outlined finally starts to meet the levels the government has been targeting.

Describing the meeting on October 17th, a Downing Street spokesperson said: "Today the prime minister met representatives of large and small housing developers, housing associations and local government to discuss achieving a step change in the delivery of new homes.

"The prime minister outlined her plans to increase housing supply, which means developers, big and small, local authorities and housing associations all stepping up to play their part."

While there was discussion about government policies such as the recently-announced provision of £2 billion extra to help fund more social housing and the extension of right-to-buy, there was also talk from developers about the barriers that still exist to get housing projects off the ground. Conversely, hot topics included the delays involved in starting construction projects once planning permission has been granted. 

Some housebuilders can boast improved output already. Earlier this week Bellway Homes recorded their highest tally of home completions in the year to the end of July: 9,644. This was 11 per cent up on last year and the company expects to achieve a five per cent increase next year, taking the number built past the 10,000 mark.