BLP: New housebuilding must be more considered - analyst - Mortgage Solutions


  • Date: 16/12/2013
  • Source: Mortgage Solutions

Any increase in housebuilding must be done in a considered fashion in order to create a sustainable future for the housing market, BLP Insurance chief executive officer Kim Vernau has said.

Vernau said plans to create new houses must not be rushed through and government must make sure the quality of the build and the impact on local communities are considered.

"We urgently need to provide additional housing to meet the increasing demand that we are seeing for property in the UK," she said. "It is, however, vitally important that we are considered and legislate properly if that property is going to be both sustainable and cost effective. Producing housing that fails to meet these criteria is not a solution as it becomes a problem over time.

"This starts from the planning stage in terms of the quality of the build. Furthermore, we need to consider the effects on local communities and ensure that new housing developments have the right infrastructure available to support them and provide residents with enough schools and hospitals."

Labour leader Ed Miliband said earlier today his party would give councils the power to take land banks from builders and stimulate local developments if it won the next election.

Vernau said that schemes involving the local community were most likely to succeed: "A considered and effective neighbourhood plan with buy-in from all affected parties is key to the success of such development. The current lack of available land is a big problem.

"We endorse the government's initiative to enable communities to improve their local area by giving them the right to ask that under-used or unused land owned by Public Bodies be brought back into use."

She later added changes to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) could scare buyers away from the London market.

"The recent changes to CGT in respect of foreign buyers announced by the Chancellor earlier this month could scare the horses and stop foreign investors from bringing their investment to the UK. We would not wish to see such a measure dissuade foreign investors from investing their money here by creating an atmosphere of uncertainty in respect of taxation.

"The government intends to conduct a thorough investigation of this measure early in the New Year and we hope they consider the dangerous signal this move would send to foreign investors."

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