Recent announcements by the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) have provided plenty of cause for optimism; 80 public land sites, coming in at over 600 acres, will be put up for sale to accelerate house building.
However, with the EU Threshold in place, a number of SMEs are struggling to compete in the tendering process due to restrictive financial controls. The House Builders Association (HBA) are working with the HCA to break this down by providing a catalogue of smaller sites with a simpler tendering process for smaller housebuilders, as well as facilitating access to finance.
Speaking on the behalf of the House Builders Association (HBA), Policy Advisor Rico Wojtulewicz said:
“Access to finance has improved but many developers have difficulty drawing it down due to a lack of planning permission. The Government has recognised this fact and as well as communicating with the HBA to find a solution the HCA is making a strong effort to identify small sites and support SMEs. This will surely help but the HBA remains staunch in its opinion that fixing planning and giving small sites and infill the same focus as large sites would not only improve the housing crisis but begin closing the gap between ‘affordable’ and realistically affordable.”
Alongside housebuilders, SMEs operating in the north of England stand to benefit substantially from government support, as the Northern Powerhouse plan begins to show more tangible benefits for smaller construction companies.
Supported by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, North England Build 2016 will be held at Manchester Central in April, and has positioned itself as a key platform for SMEs to discover opportunities within the housing sector as a result of the Northern Powerhouse initiative.
Chris Fletcher, Marketing & Policy Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, said:
“We are really pleased to be able to support North England Build and it’s great that Manchester has been chosen as the venue for this event. There is a lot of discussion and talk around the Northern Powerhouse at present and also a lot of differing views over what business opportunities will come about as part of this. There’s no doubt that the construction sector will play a major part in the Powerhouse and events like this will help set the scene for many as to what the benefits will be.”