Plea for equal support
Builders ‘need support given to 2014 Games’
A housing industry leader yesterday claimed that Scotland’s shortage of new homes could be eased if all developments were given the same urgency as the Commonwealth Games athletes village.
Nicola Barclay chief executive of Homes for Scotland, told a conference that those involved in the sector required the sort of support that ensured the Games site was developed on time in 2014. Instead, they face increasingly steeper challenges.
Addressing 1,100 senior industry representatives in Edinburgh, Ms Barclay likened home building to climbing a mountain.
“Just when you think you’re at the top, you see how much further you still have to go. Whether it’s developer contributions, planning applications, pre-commencement conditions, utility connections – the list goes on: one false summit after another with each getting more difficult to tackle.”
Having survived a severe recession, she said: “This makes the challenges we face – this mountain we have to climb – all the more frustrating, particularly when you consider our importance to both the economy and the Scottish Government’s housing delivery programme.”
She acknowledged the success of Mactaggart & Mickel, Cruden and CCG which received the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village.
“I wish all developments were treated by our politicians in the same way.” she said. “We all know this wasn’t your average site – there was no way that this project was going to be allowed to be delayed.
“But it is a great demonstration of what can be achieved when public and private sectors work together to achieve a successful outcome.
“If Scotland is ever going to solve its housing crisis, every development needs to be given the same level of support and commitment.”