New Conservative government needs to focus on energy efficiency and house building

Published:  08 May, 2015

The new Cabinet is being called upon to make housing its biggest priority, following the Conservative’s landslide win in this year’s General Election.

Continental Underfloor’s managing director, Chris Ingram, said he hopes the strengthened Conservatives and David Cameron will focus on getting Britain building again as the party begins to fulfil its pre-election promises.

“We don’t want any old homes, we want homes fit for the next generation, future proofed with technologies such as energy efficient underfloor heating, and a lot more of them,” he said.

“With recent reports confirming that UK house prices are at a record high and that there are fewer properties being placed on the market compared to this time last year, it’s essential that the Conservatives make a genuine commitment to futureproof our housing stock.

“This means looking beyond just building new homes and working to ensure all houses are of the highest energy efficiency standards. Britain needs to build in excess of 200,000 homes a year for the foreseeable future in order to address the housing crisis, improve our economy and, of course, help Brits to firm up their position on the property ladder,” he continued.

“New housing registrations are already set to soar by 18%. Let’s hope that this is a move in the right direction to meeting the ambitious targets the UK desperately needs to achieve.”

Steve Errington, chief executive of Story Homes, also welcomed a majority Conservative government that have already made a commitment to deliver much-needed new housing throughout the country.

“Under the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition we saw the introduction of the Help to Buy ISA and the Help to Buy Scheme which has been extended until 2020. These schemes have allowed many new homeowners to access home ownership and we’re pleased their future is certain,” he said.

“We would like the new government to look at supporting affordable mortgages and a return to high loan-to-value mortgage products. A normalisation of a 5 to 10% deposit for customers would help to stimulate housebuilding.

“With the National Planning Policy Framework embedded in most local authorities, government support to ensure that planning departments are resourced to prevent a bottleneck would be a prudent move.

“This has been a real issue in times of austerity for local authorities and, since the austerity measures were put in place, we have noticed that applications are taking longer to process.

“Story Homes would also like to see the Conservative government continue and further its commitment to resourcing the skills needed in the home building industry. Any initiative to promote and increase apprenticeships and vocational training would be warmly welcomed by house builders.”

UK boiler manufacturer Baxi hopes that the new government will provide clear policy direction to address the energy efficiency of buildings and support for micro-generation technologies to help meet carbon reduction targets. 

”We would like to see continued support for affordable warmth to combat fuel poverty, and are particularly interested to see their plans for ECO after 2017,” said Paul Hardy, managing director of Baxi.

”Finally, we hope we can rely on the government to continue to support UK manufactures in the drive to maintain the economic upturn.”

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