The Labour Party Annual Conference 2023
SME4Labour and Land Promoters and Developers Federation fringe: Turbocharging Delivery – SMEs and housebuilding
🗓 Date: Monday, 9 October 2023
⏳ Time: 12:00
📍Location: SME4Labour POD (Meeting Room 22), ACC Liverpool, Kings Dock Street, Liverpool, England, L3 4FP
SME4Labour and Land Promoters and Developers Federation fringed: Turbocharging Delivery – SMEs and Housebuilding with Paul Brocklehurst, Chairman of the Land Promoters and Developers Federation; Matthew Pennycook MP, Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning and Freddie Poser, Direct of PricedOut. This panel discussion was chaired by Cllr Prosperity Knight, Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness & Renters Security, Brent Council.
Freddie Poser highlighted the growing housing crisis in the country. He focused on the challenges faced by young first-time buyers and pointed out that a 21-year-old saving 10% of their take-home pay each year would not be able to afford an average-priced UK home until they’re 34, and even later in major cities like London. Poser emphasized that the housing crisis isn’t limited to London but has variations in different areas, all rooted in undersupply. He called for detailed policies and ambitious planning to address the housing crisis, signalling that the next government, the Labour government, faces a generational challenge to fix it.
Matthew Pennycook discussed the intensifying and deeply entrenched housing crisis in the country, emphasizing the pivotal role SME housebuilders must play in addressing this challenge. He highlighted systemic disadvantages faced by SME builders, including a slow and uncertain planning system, high land prices, and a volatile housing market. Pennycook advocated for targeted policy interventions to assist small housebuilders, such as reforms in grant funding and site identification by Homes England and the National Planning Framework. He teased forthcoming reforms aimed at addressing structural housing market issues and improving quality and placemaking while significantly increasing the number of homes built. Pennycook stressed the importance of SME housebuilders in tackling the housing supply-demand gap and enhancing housing quality.
Paul Brocklehurst acknowledged the frustrations the housing industry has faced due to obstacles in the planning system. He highlighted a severe housing shortage, estimating a gap of 2.5 to 4 million homes in the UK. Brocklehurst emphasized the decline in social housing delivery over the past 12 years, with only 7,000 units annually. He expressed concern about the structural shift in the industry, moving from 40% of homes delivered by small and medium-sized builders to just 10%. He pointed to the expensive, slow, and under-resourced planning system as a key factor contributing to these challenges. He called for amendments to the national planning policy framework to support medium-sized builders and proposed a 100-day plan to address supply-side issues.
In summary, the panel explored how small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) could play a pivotal role in turbocharging delivery and revolutionizing the housebuilding industry. Participants engaged in thought-provoking discussions heard expert insights and took part in interactive sessions as we uncovered the potential of SMEs in driving innovation, efficiency, and sustainable growth within the sector.