Last edited 10 Mar 2016

Cutting Red Tape review

On 2 December 2015, the government launched a new 'Cutting Red Tape' review in an effort to get housebuilders’ views on the ineffective rules and heavy-handed enforcement that hold back the building of homes.

The review will seek to highlight the issues that are of most concern to housebuilders, will attempt to understand the unique pressure faced by smaller firms. It will also re-examine the recent changes made to the Construction, Design and Management (CDM) Regulations, and other EU rules that are perceived to be too strictly implemented.

The wide-ranging review, which builds on the work of the Housing Implementation Task Force, will attempt to encompass the experiences of all those involved in building homes, such as developers, planners and trade associations.

The priorities identified by the Task Force that will serve as the review’s starting points are:

  • Roads and infrastructure rules for new housing developments.
  • Environmental requirements, particularly wider EU environmental permit requirements.
  • Rules that affect utilities, such as electricity, gas and water – as well as broadband infrastructure.

The Business Secretary Sajid Javid said: “This review will give housebuilders and smaller construction businesses a powerful voice as part of our £10 billion deregulation drive. Where rules are too complicated, ineffective or poorly enforced, I want to hear about it and the government will take action. Together we can cut red tape and get Britain building.

"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 Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We are determined to remove barriers faced by housebuilders to ensure we continue to keep Britain building as quickly and safely as possible. We want to hear the views of firms big and small so we can remove unnecessary red tape and help housebuilders do what they do best, building the homes we need.”

John Allan, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “The government is right to listen to the needs of smaller businesses. In the 1980s, smaller house builders delivered around two thirds of our new homes. Today, it is less than a third. If the government can encourage small firms back into house building, that would be a major step towards meeting this country’s housing needs.”

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 review closed for comment on 13th January 2016.