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Scotland’s FMB calls for reforms to help SMEs build more homes of all tenures

The Scottish Government must consider reforms that will help smaller housebuilder’s to construct more homes, according to the FMB, which has expressed concern at a “stagnating” market.

“The Scottish Government has demonstrated a welcome commitment to house building, and it is right to highlight its successes in maintaining a high level of new affordable housing. However, this does not overshadow what seems to be a generally stagnating wider market,” said Gordon Nelson, director of FMB Scotland.

“Scotland was the only part of the UK to see overall housing completions decline year-on-year in 2015/16 when compared to 2014/15, and it is this lack of supply that is driving house price inflation and exacerbating affordability problems. Affordable housing is undoubtedly critical, but it needs to be part of a diverse mix of new homes.”

Nelson added that it is “vital” the Scottish Government finds ways to stimulate the SME housingbuilding sector to increase the construction of new homes of all tenures.

“Many of the reforms and changes that smaller developers are calling for would come at little or no extra cost to the taxpayer and could facilitate a resurgence of smaller, locally-based house builders,” he said. “In particular, a renewed focus within the planning system on small scale development, by encouraging local authorities to maximise the use of small sites for delivering new homes, would be an inexpensive way of invigorating the private market and increasing output.

“There are undoubtedly positives in the Scottish Government’s current housing strategy, but by enabling smaller firms to pick up more of the slack, our Government would alleviate pressure on itself and thereby deliver more homes for all Scottish people."

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