Rotton’s Ramble with Jo Parr
I recently caught up with Jo from Close Property Finance for a cracking stroll through Wollaton Park. We discussed all manner of things including the Deer Rut, exercise plans (it is the New Year) and the whether Gotham City of Batman fame is named after the village of Gotham (pronounced Goat-ham) 5 miles from the Hall which itself has its own Batman heritage
Our ramblings did focus in on the challenges facing housebuilders and she was able to update me on some key findings from a report commissioned by Close, the Home Builders Federation and Travis Perkins
This comprehensive report looked at how COVID has changed the landscape for SME housebuilders with key findings as follows
- Planning remains as a significant barrier to delivering homes with 94% of respondents seeing delays in securing planning or discharging conditions
- Planning backlogs are likely to increase as there are Local Elections in May 2022
- 78% see the supply and cost of materials as a major barrier to delivery (up 20% from the previous year’s report)
- Over half – 59% – see the supply and cost of labour restricting developments ( up from 19% last year)
- Land availability was also quoted by 47% as a further obstacle
Jo said: “It was highlighted in our recent report with the HBF and Travis Perkins that UK developers and home builders are currently facing a number of challenges including planning delays, rising costs and both labour and material shortages. These issues are having an impact on the delivery of new homes and whilst some of these challenges are short lived they could cause ongoing delays in the construction of much needed new homes. We want the industry to work together, encouraging the next generation of housebuilders, reforming the planning system and securing sustainable supply chains. At Close Brothers Property Finance we have launched a new initiative called “Tomorrow’s Developer”, which is an initiative aimed at supporting the next generation of housebuilders, helping them remove the barriers into property development and encouraging the delivery of much needed housing through the widening of their networks”.
We both agreed that the construction industry is, and will continue to be, a key driver of economic recovery as we move back towards normality, and it is critical that SME builders are able to play their part in this recovery.
And Finally it turns out Gotham City really was named after Gotham in Notts albeit in a slightly convoluted way but never let that get in the way of a good story