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UK government seeks views on cutting house building 'red tape'

The UK government has announced a review aimed at helping to speed up the supply of housing by identifying and removing "regulatory barriers to growth and associated costs to the house building sector".08 Dec 2015

As part of its 'Cutting Red Tape' programme, the Cabinet Office has called for "businesses, trade associations and others with an interest in the sector" to submit comments on how regulations could be "made simpler, more cost-effective, efficient, proportionate or consistent" to help speed up the planning and house building process.

Home Builders Federation executive chairman Stewart Baseley 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," said Baseley. "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."

Planning expert Beth Grant of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: "The Red Tape Review is another addition to the government's arsenal of initiatives that are focused on boosting the delivery of housing in the UK. The effectiveness of the initiative will very much depend upon the responses received and, whilst initial reaction appears to be positive, concerns will inevitably be raised by those who fear the impact cutting red tape could have on our countryside."

The review is open for comment until 13 January.