Show Business sponsorship of HMI conference 2016
Housing minister Gavin Barwell believes public opinion towards providing new homes is shifting in favour of development and that the provision of an adequate supply of homes was now seen as a "moral issue".
Speaking at Housebuilder’s Housing Market Intelligence conference on October 6, the minister said that those who do still object to housing do so because they feel that new homes put pressure on infrastructure - "so they have to wait longer to see the GP, their trains are more crowded and their roads busier," said Barwell. He said he wanted to connect new homes and infrastructure better: "I'd like to see a day when there is a sign alongside a new dual carriageway saying 'you got this road through the building of these new homes'."
The minister threw his weight behind the adoption of new technologies, MMC and offsite construction. "Offsite construction results in high quality building carried out quickly. Housebuilders should step up and take notice and if they don't they will get left behind."
More than 300 senior housing figures attended the conference to hear a wide range of speakers including Lord Digby Jones, HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley, Redrow ceo John Tutte, Taylor Wimpey boss Pete Redfern and HCA chairman Sir Edward Lister.
Lord Jones opened the conference with a call for the industry to do more on skills and apprenticeships. He told the conference of senior figures from the housebuilding industry that they had an important responsibility to help deliver the wealth the nation needs and that, following the Brexit vote, there was "never a better or more important time to step up to the mark".
Thanking the audience for the work they do, and acknowledging the efforts the industry is making on skills, Lord Jones called on them to "do more". "Take on that extra apprentice, work with local schools, make (the apprentices) understand that they should skill up to make more money," said Lord Jones.