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Commenting on today’s (4 June) speech to Parliament by Her Majesty The Queen, Glenigan economist Tom Crane said:

“While providing no new announcements, the Queen’s Speech today suggested that housing and infrastructure remain high on the coalition government’s agenda.

“Support for smaller house builders was promised in order to increase housing supply and home ownership. Recent Budget and Autumn Statement announcements have included policies such as the Builders’ Finance Fund, a separate reserve to deliver 10,000 plots for custom build homes, and a Right to Build - though the latter of these is to undergo further consultation. Smaller housing developments may also be set to benefit from a scaling back of Section 106 levies and exemption from energy performance standards.

“However the planning system still favours larger scale schemes. Recent Glenigan research found that approval rates in England for small residential schemes are significantly lower than for those with ten or more units, and much lower than in the rest of the UK.

“Recent comments from government and opposition more generally suggest that housing is likely to be a focus for the next government, regardless of the outcome of the 2015 General Election. Housing supply is responding to the improving market, with the latest Glenigan Index showing the value of new sites being opened rose by a fifth between the three months to May and the same period of last year. However new housing supply remains well below the growth in households, and we will monitor the progress of additional mooted reforms regarding the discharge of conditions on approved sites, alongside alterations to permitted change of use rights.

“The plan to bring legislation to turn the Highways Agency into a government-owned company is especially welcome, following the successful conclusion of public consultation in April 2014. The new arrangement should bring greater certainty of highways funding over the longer term, allowing the UK construction industry and supply chain to plan with a greater degree of confidence, while achieving greater efficiencies by mitigating the often stop-start nature of UK infrastructure investment.

“We hope this process is concluded ahead of next year’s General Election, though inclusion in a wider infrastructure bill including more controversial changes to the shale gas drilling regime may slow its progress.”
PR contacts:
Kirsty Maclagan (Marketing and Communications Manager)
T: +44 (0)1202 786 842│E: kirsty.maclagan@glenigan-old.thrv.uk
Tom Crane (Economist)
T: +44 (0)20 7715 6297| E: tom.crane@glenigan-old.thrv.uk
Notes to the Editor:

Glenigan is the UK’s leading provider of construction data, contract leads and construction market analysis. Combining comprehensive data gathering and exhaustive research with detailed statistical modelling and expert analysis, it delivers a trusted insight into UK construction trends and activity. Glenigan customers include government agencies, construction companies and suppliers of materials and services to the industry.

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