Government Launches ‘Cutting Red Tape’ Review Of The House Building Sector

The Cutting Red Tape review of house building launched on 2nd December 2015 is a government review led by the Cabinet Office, DCLG, BIS, working with other government departments and regulators.  The review is aimed at helping to speed up the supply of housing by identifying and removing regulatory barriers to growth and associated costs to the house building sector, while ensuring necessary protections are maintained.

It will build upon previous work of the government to identify an initial list of regulatory burdens on house builders and identify opportunities to reduce these.  Previously, the Housing and Construction Red Tape Challenge delivered significant reforms and led to a review of local housing standards by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

The key starting points for the review are based on the priorities raised by the Task Force:

  • roads and infrastructure rules for new housing developments;
  • environmental requirements, particularly EU rules such as the Habitats Directive and wider EU environmental permit requirements; and
  • rules that affect utilities (such as electricity, gas and water – as well as broadband infrastructure)

The government is also keen to look at the changes made to the Construction, Design and Management Regulations, as well as any examples of EU rules that are being implemented too strictly and seek the views of smaller firms to understand the unique pressures they face.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said;

“As the industry looks to drive further increases in housing supply we welcome moves to reduce unnecessary regulation and the associated costs. Aside from the planning system there are significant other regulatory processes and charges levied on the industry that can adversely affect viability, but also, critically, delay the ability of home builders to get on site and start building. Reducing red tape will bring more sites into play more quickly and so help the industry deliver more desperately needed homes in the coming years.”

The House Building review is now open for comment with the evidence gathering phase of the review running for 8 weeks closing on 13 January 2016.  The wide-ranging review will capture the experiences of all those involved in building homes, including developers, planners and trade associations and will hopefully lead to government taking concrete steps to remove burdens on business.

Businesses can feed back their thoughts by posting comments on the Cutting Red Tape website. Through Twitter: @CutRedTapeUK #CutRedTape, by email: or by writing to: The Cutting Red Tape team, The Better Regulation Executive, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1H.

Stacey Lakeland

About Stacey Lakeland

Stacey Lakeland is a Solicitor within the Commercial Property department at Forbes Solicitors. Stacey’s blogs cover general property matters relating to both residential and commercial property matters such as updates to legislation affecting the property sector, landlord and tenant matters, topics which relate to the construction and development sector and also issues relating to property disposals and acquisitions, to name a few.
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