Federation’s election asks also include a new social housing taskforce 

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has urged the next government to introduce an Ofsted style system for planning.

In a ‘manifesto’ of recommended policies published today, the body said that planning departments assessed to be failing under the recommended new regulatory system would receive support from private planning services. 


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The NFB wants an Ofsted-style body to have oversight of local authority planners’ performance

A 2021 RIBA Future Trends survey found that nearly 80% of architectural practices have said that projects have been held-up due to delays in the processing of planning applications, while research from the Royal Town Planning Institute found that English local authorities decreased net investment in planning by 42% between 2010 to 2018.

The NFB also called for an exemption for stamp duty land tax for new homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of A, the highest rating for energy efficiency.

It also recommended the launch of a social housing unit within government which not only supports councils and RP’s, which are registered providers of housing run-independently from councils, but also examines how other countries are providing social housing.

The federation also called for a new “medium” classification of site sizes, which define sites containing between 10 to 50 homes and recommended that 30% of sites in local plans should be small to medium sized. 

>> Read more: Gove unveils proposed planning guidance changes in bid to boost brownfield development

>> Read more: Planning reform ‘at the very centre’ of Labour economic vision, says Reeves

Richard Beresford, chief executive at the NFB said: “The reality is obvious; the construction industry is a key component for the UK to meeting its numerous challenges and therefore the incoming government must not only understand where the barriers to our industries’ growth exist, but what that means for the UK’s ambition.”

Rico Wojtulewicz, NFB’s head of policy and market insight, added: “UK construction is key to placemaking, fixing the housing crisis, building our infrastructure, meeting our climate obligations, and enabling British business.

“Yet we appear to have lost sight of how we ensure it is not in decline and with insolvencies 30% higher than in 2019, something is awry.

The NFB manifesto highlights the gaps in policy thinking and ultimately opens doors for growth conversations, without placing further burdens on taxpayers.”