94% of small and medium-sized businesses report planning permission delays as a major obstacle to housebuilding, according to poll

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28th January 2022 22:48 - Construction

94% of small and medium-sized businesses report planning permission delays as a major obstacle to new housebuilding: A recent survey by the Home Builder’s Federation, Close Brothers Property Finance and Travis Perkins has uncovered that 94% of small and medium-sized businesses cited delays in getting planning permission as a major problem in developing new homes.
The study polled construction firms at the end of 2021 to find out more about the industry and the challenges faced by firms of all sizes. The survey also elicited that the number of firms employing apprentices has increased by almost a third (33% in the 2020 survey to 60% in 2021).
When looking into the differences between the geographic locations in the UK, it was found that northern construction firms report the most apprenticeship programmes, with 88% saying they employ apprentice workers.
Furthermore, it was uncovered that most firms in the Midlands and in the South, also employ apprentices with 59% and 52% saying so respectively.
When asked about other factors that are stopping the Government’s proposed 300,000 new homes each year, 59% said worker shortages and rising wages were an issue. The construction industry as a whole, highlighted a decrease of eastern European workers as a result of Brexit, bringing increases in wages.
In addition, the rising cost of materials such as bricks, timber and cement was cited as a concern by 78% of housebuilders, up from one in five in 2020.
It is estimated that, in the UK, around 800,000 people work in the homebuilding industry; either within the planning, design or building of the property.
Frank Pennal: chief executive of Close Brother’s Property Finance, said: “The combined challenge of both labour and material shortages, rising costs and planning delays are a serious risk to the delivery of new homes across the UK. Developing homes takes months and years and while some of these issues might only be short term, they risk leaving a lasting legacy on the provision of new homes.”

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