Build to Rent industry comments on speech by Chancellor Rachel Reeves

We’ve compiled some comments from the Build to Rent sector on their responses to this morning’s speech by Chancellor Rachel Reeves.

Chancellor Rachel Reeves | BTR News
Chancellor Rachel Reeves. Image Credit: Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing St. Copyright: Crown copyright. Licensed under the Open Government Licence.

We share some responses from the Build to Rent sector following this morning’s speech by the Chancellor Rachel Reeves on planning reform, housing delivery and unlocking private capital.

Chancellor Rachel Reeves stated that “Nowhere is decisive reform needed more urgently than in the case of our planning system.

“Planning reform has become a byword for political timidity in the face of vested interests and a graveyard of economic ambition.

“Our antiquated planning system leaves too many important projects getting tied up in years and years of red tape before shovels ever get into the ground.

“We promised to put planning reform at the centre of our political argument – and we did.

“We said we would grasp the nettle of planning reform – and we are doing so. Today I can tell you that work is underway.

“Over the weekend, I met with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister to agree the urgent action needed to fix our planning system.

“Today, alongside the Deputy Prime Minister, I am taking immediate action to deliver this [political content removed] government’s mission to kickstart economic growth. And to take the urgent steps necessary to build the infrastructure that we need, including one and a half million homes over the next five years.

“The system needs a new signal. This is that signal.”

Build to Rent sector’s responses

Rick de Blaby, Chief Executive, Get Living

“Chancellor Rachel Reeves has wasted no time in setting out her stall for tackling the UK’s housing crisis. We welcome the steps already being put in place to allow the industry to deliver sought-after homes at a far greater speed, and unlock significant projects that, to date, have been hindered by a planning system that is quite simply not fit for purpose.

“At Get Living, we echo the Chancellor’s views that the UK is a place where people should want to do business. If we are going to have any chance at making a meaningful dent in the housing crisis, attracting significant levels of private capital is essential. Recent estimations suggest £250bn worth of global capital is needed over the next seven years for rental housing alone. The Build to Rent industry, backed by long-term investors, has an important role in making this happen, bringing forward not only the market rental homes that are in such high demand, but also significant levels of affordable homes. 

“We await an update on how the new Government will take forward the Renters Reform Bill, but any future legislation will need to balance the need to attract the scale of global capital required with important safeguards for residents. 

“With close collaboration from investors, the private sector and a proactive government, there is no reason why we shouldn’t get Britain building again across all tenures, ensuring that more people are able to enjoy a better quality of life here in the UK. We look forward to seeing these plans develop at speed.”

James Saunders, Chief Executive, Quintain

“At Quintain we look forward to working alongside a government who have put building new homes front and centre. It is vital that Labour’s promises of stability, economic growth and planning reform underpin this vision, enabling developers in all sectors to start to address the UK’s severe housing shortage. 

“Rachel Reeves speaking this morning has said ‘there is no time to waste’ and we couldn’t agree more. At Wembley Park we have successfully undertaken one of London’s largest urban transformations and created a place thousands of people and businesses already call home. We have demonstrated the speed and efficiency with which the Build to Rent sector can deliver new homes, in an exciting neighbourhood through collaboration with the local authority and a shared vision.

“For this to continue, the UK needs to harness institutional and overseas funding and we are optimistic that Labour will recognise the vital importance of inward investment. This funding will enable the Build to Rent industry to continue to deliver much needed homes, neighbourhoods and communities.”

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation

“It’s very positive to see the new Government hit the ground running on planning reform. 

“Housebuilding targets are a clear statement of intent and will help accelerate delivery. We need to build more homes of all tenure and type and so we urge the Government to also consider bold targets for Build to Rent and affordable housing specifically. Housebuilding targets need to be supported with extra capacity in the planning system, so it’s good to see Labour also restate their commitment to get more planners in.

“The Government must also make sure the system supports employment uses as well as homes so that we create sustainable communities. The move to streamline infrastructure delivery is welcome and should include the logistics facilities that are vital for the movement of goods and are chronically undersupplied in key parts of the country. 

“The Government is right to look at all options to drive development for growth and the delivery of homes. Moves to fast-track brownfield development are critical to regeneration across the country and a review of the green belt will help to identify those sites which can be brought into use for homes whilst continuing to protect the green spaces which we all enjoy.”

Paul Rickard, Managing Director, Pocket Living

“Today’s speech by the new Chancellor is a welcome first step in ending the housing delivery crisis blighting the lives of millions of people and especially those looking to get onto the property ladder. The restoration of national housing targets will help focus the minds of local authority decision-making, and we are pleased that a more permissive planning regime for brownfield sites is being developed.

“However, whilst significant, planning reform alone is not enough to deliver the homes we need and we look forward to a comprehensive agenda coming forward around public-private delivery partnerships, support for SME developers to get building again, and a strong focus on boosting the capacity of the construction sector.”