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Residential property experts discuss what Boris' "Build, Build, Build" pledge means for the sector

Residential property experts discuss what Boris' "Build, Build, Build" pledge means for the sector

To watch the full CC Live webisode, please click **here

THE PRIME Minister’s “Build, Build, Build” pledges have the power to significantly transform the way we build residential property, according to experts on the latest CC Live webisode.

Representatives from Willmott Dixon, Leonard Design Architects, Pagabo and Property Checklists shared their insights and expertise on what this means for the residential sector as part of the webisode, hosted by PR agency Cartwright Communications

June’s “Build, Build, Build” announcement came alongside a package of measures to support home building across England; including a £12 billion affordable homes programme, £400 million from the Brownfield Land Fund allocated to areas across the country and more.

The group fielded questions about the significance of the pledge, how ways of working will be affected and how they see the industry changing in the years to come.

David Atkinson, regional development manager for the Midlands and North at Willmott Dixon, said: “There are a lot of ambitious promises within the policy, we’re really keen to see all of the support they’re able to offer to the industry and we welcome the ambition. There just needs to be a real laser-like focus on translating that good intention into real life projects that will keep people employed in the industry, keep us building and deliver this infrastructure and housing that the country desperately needs.”

Ian Staples, director at Leonard Design Architects, spoke of the importance of the pledge at a time when the demand for affordable homes is at an all-time high.

He said: “Any measures to stimulate home building growth should be regarded as significant as we have a near impossible task ahead in trying to meet that demand. We’re seeing a big focus on affordable homes but also on modern methods of construction and we’re seeing a lot of funding heading in these directions. But what we do need to be careful of is that in our haste, we’re not causing problems for our much wider sustainable targets.”

Kate Faulkner, managing director at Property Checklists, supports residential property projects from start to finish from both the company and consumer sides. She said: “I think developers have actually got some tricky decisions to make moving forwards. We’re probably not just looking at one of the biggest planning changes but also the biggest attitude and cultural change to housing. So, we won’t know for a good year or two the impact of Covid-19 and what our new work-lifestyle balance is going to be.”

The panel all commented on how the landscape and ways of working are going to change over the coming years. Simon Toplass, CEO at Pagabo, said: “The more construction that’s out there, the more procurement activity there will be, so, as practitioners, we need to be alive as to how the tendering process can be sped up. There’s likely to be a public sector procurement capacity gap and there’s a recognised industry shortage as well so getting these schemes done will be a big challenge. I think the role of procurement is to step up to the plate to address this.”

Another focus in the Q&A was the importance of sustainability and green credentials in the years to come. John Morgan, director at Leonard Design Architects, said: “Climate change is such a massive issue for the country and therefore the government has to take that into consideration when setting these build objectives. The key thing is to find that balance between the delivery of housing as quickly as possible and delivering it in line with environmental credentials as well. What we’re seeing is that more and more developers are realising you can’t ignore it and it has to be taken into serious consideration.”

The full webisode, broadcast on Friday 11 September, is available to watch here: and listen to here:

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