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Notts Developer Calls upon Government to Confront Post-Covid Home Building Challenges Head On

Notts Developer Calls upon Government to Confront Post-Covid Home Building Challenges Head On

The MD of one of the Midlands’ longest standing family-run house-builders has called upon Rishi Sunak’s newly announced Housing Secretary, Michael Gove, to give more support to small developers in the challenging post-Covid construction landscape.

Steve Midgley, Managing Director and co-founder at Fairgrove, which he established in 1995, has voiced concerns over the spiralling issues with supply chains and labour shortages in the wake of Brexit and Covid, as his teams work around the clock to deliver excellent low-energy homes in the midst of a very turbulent mortgage market.

Fairgrove is currently active on three sites in the East Midlands – The Brewery Yard and Nine Corners in Kimberley, as well as Swanwick Fields in Alfreton. All sites, which will eventually comprise more than 100 stunning new homes, are experiencing major challenges and Steve and his team, plus their newly appointed Quality Manager, are disheartened to find themselves behind schedule for completion.

Steve, who spent 10 years as Chairman of the Small Developers Group, and more recently 6 years as main Board member, of the Home Builders Federation, said:

“Our vision to create places where people aspire to live, work and enjoy life is as strong as ever, given the tough times we’ve all come through over the last few years. A home is literally where the heart is and so we understand how important it is that our customers arrive at their perfect dream home on move-in day.

“That’s why we are so disheartened to have handed over some homes with a few aspects unfinished and to be behind schedule – it just is not the quality finish and experience we are known and respected for. Our 25 year plus heritage is all about comfort, high standards, excellent customer service and great workmanship and design.

“So I’m urgently calling on the new Housing Minster to address the challenges faced by smaller house builders in this extremely difficult construction climate. Key problems are the supply chain delays which have come about through a perfect storm of factors, culminating in vital materials not arriving on our sites in time.

“A shortage of skilled workers post Brexit has certainly had, and continues to have, a really negative impact on house building, as does the terrible situation in Ukraine. Timber, for instance, is a big problem. We have had a real struggle getting hold of fencing as a result, similar to how we’ve finding it very hard to secure ground workers and scaffolding. The supply chain and labour market is in a state of chaos.”

Steve added that it wasn’t just his company that was experiencing these ongoing problems.

“At a recent meeting with more than 15 other developers, we all reported the same thing. We’re all being hit by delays for at least one vital skill or product as we strive to deliver houses on time. It doesn’t seem that bigger developers are feeling the squeeze in the same way – and this needs addressing.”

To give a specific example of how Fairgrove’s current projects are being affected, Steve touched on the piling process. He said:

“Some of the properties we are building at our luxury development in Alfreton have to be supported in the ground via a process called piling. The piles are steel tubes, imported ex-Russian oil and gas pipeline pipes. We have lost over 3 months whilst these have been stuck at a Norwegian port as a result of the war in Ukraine.

“This delays construction by weeks and puts our buyers at risk of their mortgage deals running out, hence the real sense of urgency to move people into homes that we are not 100% happy with. The situation needs some serious attention from those calling the shots in Government.”

For more information about Fairgrove’s current developments, visit their website:

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