All local authorities should be required to advertise small site opportunities.
- Large scale sites should have some allocation to multiple small builders though joint venture partnerships with larger developers to ensure diversity of development.
- Local authorities should be more inclined to allocate multiple small sites to hit housing targets, rather than rely on larger sites.
Support for local government to better communicate with small builders - rise in planning fees could support the introduction of SME liaison officers in more council areas
- Ultimately, complexity in planning is caused by poor communication and a lack of support for SME builders.
- We must acknowledge the strain that delays in planning applications have on the finances and resources of small companies, and remove, not put additional barriers in their way.
Acknowledge added costs from biodiversity net gain, nutrient neutrality mitigation and interim uplift in building regulations have created added cost to small developments that affect viability of sites.
- In policy creation at DLUHC understand that costs can’t be mitigated by negotiation on land value, small house builders don’t have this leverage, like the volume builders do.
- Ensure small sites are exempt or have a scaled approach to certain environmental approaches to ensure sites remain viable.
Micro and SME housebuilder housing delivery is in decline, dropping from 40% in the 1980’s to around 12% today. Without the renaissance of the small housebuilder, then we will lose high quality homes reflective of their area, which they deliver day in day out.
Homes delivered by SME’s benefit their local community, as the housebuilder is using local skills, training up the next generation of builder and investing back into the community. We know the ambition of government is to deliver more diversity in housing. But with an industry on decline this won’t be achievable. We will have lost a proud industry and failed a key driver of levelling up.