Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill doesn't go far enough, say housebuilders

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill doesn’t go far enough, say housebuilders

Last week, the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill became law.

However, 61% of housebuilders believe that the 534-page bill, which will underpin the government’s levelling up agenda, needs to go further to enable them to reach housing targets.

In fact, two thirds (66%) of housebuilders had supported the government’s initial plan to scrap nutrient neutrality laws and 75% said that the amendment would have been a ‘major win’ for the industry. So, when this was dropped, many were left disillusioned and concerned about the housing crisis, a reduction in economic activity, and how the removal of the amendment could impact jobs and businesses.

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill doesn't go far enough, say housebuilders
Barratt Homes, Carlton

According to the House Builders Federation (HBF), the scrapping of nutrient neutrality laws would have unlocked 150,000 homes, helping housebuilders to meet ambitious governmental housing targets. The bill could have, therefore, provided some relief to a sector that continues to face a multitude of immense challenges.

However, nutrient neutrality only makes up a fraction of the blockers that housebuilders are currently navigating to achieve housing delivery targets. According to the recent research on 100 housebuilders by Polypipe Building Products aside from a downturn in the housing market, 63% of housebuilders say that the government’s overall approach to planning is an issue and 62% said that the lack of resources in Local Planning Authorities is a major barrier.

Furthermore, 65% said they didn’t believe Gove’s claim that the reform would unlock the prompt construction of 100,000 new homes, arguing that the legislation must go further.

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill doesn't go far enough, say housebuilders
Barratt Homes, Carlton

Commenting on the findings, Dan Love, Head of Commercial at Polypipe Building Products said,

“The scrapping of nutrient neutrality has been a nuanced debate. Of course, both environmental standards and the ability to meet housing targets are key issues for the housing sector and we know that housebuilders and developers are passionate about both these issues, too.

“While the intent of nutrient neutrality rules are appreciated by developers, there is an overwhelming feeling that stopping new homes being built disproportionately impacts housing developers and those seeking housing needs, rather than root causes of negative impacts on nutrient neutrality.

“With so much uncertainty ahead and with numerous updates to environmental, planning and building regulations ongoing, it’s more crucial than ever that housebuilders, contractors, and specifiers have access to adequate resources and information to support them through the changes. This remains a key focus at Polypipe Building Products as the industry navigates a period of significant change, and our technical team will continue to work with housebuilders and specifiers to support them through planning stages and the design of compliant heating systems to aid them in meeting housing targets.”

For helpful resources on the updates to building regulations, legislation, and further information, please visit: https://www.polypipeufh.com/

The research

150 consumers were surveyed in March/April 2023 and were asked about the updates to the building regulations and uptake of renewables, as well as their support for the new legislation and where they source information on building regulations.

About Polypipe Building Products

Polypipe Building Products is the UK’s leading manufacturer of plastic piping systems and low-carbon heating solutions for the residential market. We design, develop, and manufacture over 20,000 product lines which are stocked in plumbers and builders’ merchants nationally.

Polypipe Building Products works with national and local developers, plumbing and heating engineers, general builders and groundworkers to deliver above and below ground drainage systems, rainwater solutions, as well as hot and cold plastic plumbing products.

We provide innovative products and services to our customers, including UFH site support and our Approved Engineer network. With Polypipe Building Products, we’ve got you covered.

For more information, please visit www.polypipebpfuturehomes.com