The government is likely to scrap confusing red tape faced by house builders, in a move that will hopefully help the UK increase its supply. Communities minister Don Foster put forward the proposals to rid the construction sector of dozens of unnecessary and confusing measures. He claims this will free up home builders, support growth and ensure high-quality properties are built.
While the changes will not involve any reforms to planning rules, essential safety regulations and accessibility laws, it will rid the sector of additional housing standards that councils are free to apply locally. This has previously created a lack of uniformity across councils, meaning housing standards are variable up and down the UK.
Under Mr Foster's recommendations, regulations will be reduced from over 100 to fewer than 10. What's more, 1,500 pages of guidance will be consolidated to fewer than 80, saving councils and house builders valuable time and money.
Mr Foster said: "At a time when we are working closely with British business to create jobs and build a stronger economy it’s essential the government plays its part by taking off the bureaucratic handbrake that holds back house building and adds unnecessary cost. I’m proposing to cut needless red tape to let house builders get on with the real job of building the high quality new homes that people need, especially families and first time buyers."
Supporting construction will increase property investment opportunities in the UK and starts have already increased by a third on the same period last year. Reducing red tape will speed up building and some of the cumbersome regulations earmarked for abolition include requirements for rain water harvesting in places that don't suffer from a water shortage and for solar and wind energy sources that can't physically fit onto the roofs of apartment buildings.
Multiple phone lines in home offices, irrespective of need and in addition to broadband connection, will also be scrapped if Mr Fosters proposals are accepted. Meanwhile, the requirement to build accessible flats on floors that can't be reached by disabled people will be abolished.
- Thursday 22 August 2013