Barclay urges better planning
Call for housing action amid ‘worrying drop in activity’
Nicola Barclay: ‘Latest figures show a worrying drop in private sector activity’ (pic: Terry Murden)
Housing industry leaders have told Communities and Local Government Secretary Aileen Campbell that the government must resolve issues over the planning system in order to increase the supply of badly-needed new homes.
Chief Executive of trade body Homes for Scotland Nicola Barclay led a delegation of industry representatives at a meeting with the minister aimed at stimulating more activity in the sector.
“With overall housing delivery still 30% below that of over a decade ago and latest figures showing a worrying drop in private sector activity,” she said. “This is an absolutely crucial period – not only for those building the homes our growing population needs but also in terms of wider social and economic implications.
“This point was impressed upon the Cabinet Secretary, as was our wish that all those who want to see housing supply increased unite with us around the primary goal of delivering more homes of all types. Indeed, collaboration lies at the heart of our approach.
“Clearly, a planning system that facilitates home building is fundamental. Additionally, we must overcome the misconceptions many hold in relation to our industry and how it actually operates and navigates through what is an incredibly complex, costly and lengthy process.
“For our part, we need to be better at explaining this and in demonstrating the many positives (such as jobs, training, investment and improved health and education outcomes) that home building provides.”
Ms Campbell said: “I was pleased to be invited to discuss current market conditions and potential with Homes for Scotland’s Board. Providing more new high-quality homes across all tenures is a key priority for the Scottish Government, and we value the contribution of home builders to improving lives and sustainable economic growth.
“Improving our housing system requires partnership working, clarity and honesty about what actions we can take. I hope Homes for Scotland and their members will continue to make their voices heard as we progress our work on Housing Beyond 2021.”