February 22, 2024
Constructing the Future Fee: introducing the housing and planning stream | Options

Constructing the Future Fee: introducing the housing and planning stream | Options

The ambition of the housing and planning stream of the Constructing the Future Fee is to assist create a sector able to tackling the present housing disaster and assembly the approaching internet zero problem, whereas constructing new communities which can be each bodily enticing and economically dynamic. Whereas the sector at the moment has its head down making an attempt to cope with the affect of the approaching recession amid runaway supplies value inflation impacting on gross sales and viability, the cyclicality of the market implies that within the medium and long term the challenges are even larger.

In session with Constructing’s panel of 19 commissioners – together with housing figures similar to Hill boss Andy Hill and Bob Kerslake, chair of Peabody and former head of the civil service – now we have drawn up a listing of the important thing challenges dealing with the sector which we are going to look to research within the 12 months forward.


Modernisation and high quality

How the business builds and to what high quality are elementary questions probably to assist decide the long-term success of the sector. Whereas quantity housebuilders are perceived to have made some enhancements in high quality of building since widespread fears have been voiced over new dwelling high quality in the course of the final decade, the business stays removed from excellent, and commerce expertise shortages are a deepening drawback.

housing and planning

Long run, questions stay round what building modernisation will imply to a sector that has till lately largely caught to conventional brick and block strategies of construct. Can it profitably – and safely – embrace trendy strategies of building, and, if that’s the case, in what kind, and may it transfer manufacturing to make use of new supplies extra appropriate for a low carbon future?

Sustainability and internet zero

Modernisation of the business’s constructing technique is without doubt one of the methods the business is reworking itself to ship houses that can meet the federal government internet zero local weather targets. The Future Houses Normal, which is available in from 2025, below which fuel boilers will probably be banned in new houses, will guarantee houses are “internet zero prepared” and can probably require a serious upskilling by the business and its provide chain.

>> Click on right here for extra on the Constructing the Future Fee

However the estimated £5,000 per home uplift in price is actually simply step one in a course of to ship a internet zero business. Long run, housebuilders must make sure that they aren’t simply constructing to the best effectivity requirements, but in addition utilizing supplies with out large embodied carbon footprints – suggesting a transfer to natural supplies similar to timber.

Competitors and new entrants

The questions of what form of business could be finest suited to supply of 300,000 houses a 12 months, and the way that is likely to be achieved are vital ones for the business to reply. Many have lengthy bemoaned the decline of SME housebuilders, which as lately because the Eighties produced 40% of the UK’s houses, however now produce little over 10%.

The reliance on a small variety of more and more giant quantity builders increase competitors issues for some – as evidenced by secretary of state for housing Michael Gove’s latest referral of the sector to the Competitors and Markets Authority – and leaves the sector much less resilient to financial shocks. Beforehand when the UK has produced in extra of 300,000 houses a 12 months, a excessive proportion has come from public housing, suggesting sources aside from non-public sector provide are wanted. Whereas the construct to hire sector has efficiently established itself during the last decade, different rising new construct sectors similar to council homebuilding and later dwelling have struggled to determine themselves at scale.

Reasonably priced and different housing tenures

There may be loads of proof to counsel that the housing disaster shouldn’t be a lot attributable to the 25 million-odd inventory of houses being merely not sufficient, however is extra concerning the truth houses in too many areas are unaffordable to too lots of the folks that want them. 

The housing disaster shouldn’t be a lot attributable to the 25 million-odd inventory of houses being merely not sufficient, however is extra concerning the truth houses in too many areas are unaffordable

Merely constructing extra market housing won’t be sufficient to assist. This might suggest that fixing the disaster is reasonably extra about constructing much more genuinely inexpensive housing for individuals to entry beneath the market worth. However how this may be performed, when the federal government shouldn’t be keen to considerably enhance the funding to permit this to occur, is a serious query for the business, and has led to the expansion of a brand new breed of “for-profit” inexpensive housebuilders. 


Targets and distribution

The weeks operating as much as Christmas noticed an almighty political battle over the necessity for housing targets within the planning system, not simply at a nationwide degree, however at an authority-by-authority degree too – with the housing secretary finally watering down targets below heavy strain. With councils set to be allowed to decide out of the requirement to supply for native housing want amid rising politicisation of the difficulty, and councils abandoning work on their native plans, the query of how you can calculate what number of houses to construct, and the place to place them, has by no means been extra pressing.

Within the brief time period that is about what components is used to calculate want, and the extent to which the wording of nationwide coverage binds councils to this quantity; in the long run it’s about discovering a approach that native communities will be persuaded to just accept new growth. On a nationwide degree, there may be additionally a necessity to consider how the situation and design of latest communities addresses – and doesn’t undermine – the online zero problem.

Resourcing and supply

Much more than coverage, nevertheless, the present resourcing disaster within the planning system is seen as a serious barrier to supply.

Planning departments have seen their budgets minimize extra deeply than some other a part of native authorities since 2010, and supply of the system by hard-pressed council employees has worsened notably for the reason that covid disaster. Housebuilders often cite the prolonged delays in merely getting purposes validated or planning circumstances discharged as main obstacles, notably to smaller builders, lots of whom can’t afford the time taken for purposes to be accepted, contributing to insolvencies.

Infrastructure supply

The planning system is used as a lever by which to ship all kinds of native infrastructure – from utilities and native roads, to inexpensive housing and bio-diversity enhancements. Nevertheless, the plans to exchange the present removed from excellent Part 106 and Neighborhood Infrastructure Levy methods with a single Infrastructure Levy are inflicting important sensible issues. It’s not but clear how a easy flat-rate system will work with out inflicting perverse disincentives for growth both in decrease worth areas or on brownfield websites, whereas gathering sufficient worth from high-value greenfield websites.

On high of the on a regular basis infrastructure, the planning system can be being anticipated to deal with further environmental challenges similar to nutrient air pollution that it was by no means arrange for. Long run, the system must be reformed to have the ability to deal with new calls for, similar to further water and power infrastructure needed because the local weather and energy calls for change.

Placemaking and wonder

At the least a part of the reply of how you can get communities to just accept new growth will probably be in upping the standard of the locations which can be routinely delivered by the business. The federal government’s magnificence agenda, which stipulates design codes in each council, is one try to deal with this, however short-term enterprise fashions, highways rules, and council fears over taking up monetary liabilities for landscaping usually mitigate towards makes an attempt to do issues in another way. Locations will must be constructed with a mixture of makes use of and at an affordable density that is sufficient to encourage inhabitants out of their vehicles if local weather change targets are to be met.

Constructing the Future Fee


The Constructing the Future Fee is a year-long undertaking, launched to mark Constructing’s 180th anniversary, to evaluate potential options and radical new methods of considering to enhance the constructed atmosphere.

The most important undertaking’s work will probably be guided by a panel of 19 main figures who’ve signed as much as assist information the fee’s work culminatuing  culminate in a report revealed on the finish of the 12 months.

The ultimate line-up of commissioners contains figures from the world of contracting, housing growth, structure, policy-making, expertise, design, place-making, infrastructure, consultancy and authorized.

The commissioners embrace Lord Kerslake, former head of the civil service, Katy Dowding, govt vice chairman at Skanska, Richard Steer, chair of Gleeds, Lara Oyedele, president of the Chartered Institute of Housing, Mark Wild, former boss of Crossrail and chief govt of SGN and Simon Tolson, senior accomplice at Fenwick Elliott. See the total checklist right here.

The undertaking is proposals for change in eight areas:

  • Expertise and schooling
  • Power and internet zero
  • Housing and planning
  • Infrastructure
  • Constructing security
  • Mission supply and digital
  • Office tradition and management
  • Creating communities

>> Editor’s view: And now for one thing fully constructive – our Constructing the Future Fee

>> Click on right here for extra concerning the undertaking and the commissioners

Constructing the Future may even undertake a national tour of roundtable discussions with specialists across the areas as a part of a session programme in partnership with the regional arms of business physique Developing Excellence. It is going to additionally arrange a teen’s advisory panel.

We may even be organising an concepts hub and we need to hear your views.

>> E-mail [email protected] to get in contact