Survey reveals attitudes to new house construction

Sites, Small Builders’ initiative, which will now be extended with £3.8m of funding next year, with further funding expected over the next four years as more successful bidders are announced. TfL will continue to bring forward and advertise small sites on a rolling basis, with Boroughs and other public landholders encouraged to take part. Ten small TfL sites located across seven different boroughs were launched in February as part of the pilot, many of which are ‘left over’ land. The number of homes proposed at each site ranges from two to 90.

The pilot received 134 bids from 80

The public’s attitude towards housebuild- ing has been revealed by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, using findings from the 2017 British Social Attitudes survey. More than half of respondents “supported local housing”, and those that didn’t “believed that improved infrastruc- ture would make them more supportive”. According to the survey, in 2017 55

per cent of people were supportive of new homes being built in their local area. This is consistent with results from 2014 when 56 per cent of respondents were in favour, and shows an increase in support over a longer time period, as compared with 47 per cent in 2013 and 28 per cent in 2010. 21 per cent of people were found to be opposed to new homes built in their local area. The strength of opposition to new homes has however decreased since 2010. In 2017, the proportion of respondents stating they would strongly oppose new homes being built in their local area was 5 per cent, compared to 15 per cent in 2010.

Those who did not support new homes were asked what would make them “more supportive”. Among the most frequent selections were ‘More employment opportunities’, ‘More medical facilities built or existing ones improved’, ’Transport links improved,’ ‘More schools built or improved’, ‘More affordable homes to rent (from LA or HA)’, ‘More green spaces/parks created or existing ones improved’, and ‘More homes for low cost home ownership/shared ownership’. Respondents were asked whether the

provision of a cash payment for house- holds who lived close to a proposed development would influence their support. Results showed that 65 per cent said it would make no difference, 23 per cent said it would make them ‘more’ or ‘much more’ supportive, and 9 per cent stated that the payment would make them ‘more’ or ‘much more’ opposed. The survey also asked who should be


responsible for deciding where the new homes are built. 50 per cent of respondents said local councils should be responsible, and 41 per cent said local communities should decide where the new homes are built.

The British Social Attitudes survey measures the extent to which the attitudes, values and beliefs of the British public change over time. The survey has been run annually by the National Centre for Social Research since 1983 (apart from in 1988 and 1992 when its core funding was used to fund the British Election Study series).

organisations, from developers and commu- nity-led organisations to registered providers and architect-developers. Khan commented: “Making small plots of public land available for housing development is a key part of addressing London’s housing shortage, and the fantastic response to the pilot of my ‘Small Sites, Small Builders’ programme has shown that these small sites can be an important way to get new genuinely afford- able homes built.”

Two TfL sites earmarked for community-led housing

Community-led housing projects are to be delivered on two Transport for London sites by the London Community Land Trust, as part of a City Hall initiative. The Trust, formed as a result of campaigning by community organising group Citizens UK, was confirmed as the successful bidder for building on sites at Cable Street (Tower Hamlets) and Christchurch Road (Lambeth). They hope to deliver around 70 ‘genuinely affordable’ new homes.

Homes will be priced according to average local incomes and based on the principle that residents shouldn’t have to pay more than one-third of their income on their mortgage – meaning that they will typically be sold at between a third and a half of market value.

The sites were brought forward through the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan’s ‘Small

Three quarters of construction SMEs optimistic

Construction SMEs have a forward-think- ing approach to business and are willing to adapt to new working practices, according to a survey from Constructiononline. The survey, undertaken by members of

the construction supply chain and procure- ment experts, shows that SMEs are very aware of the changes currently impacting the construction sector, but remain positive, with 74 per cent of respondents optimistic about the success of their business in the next two years.

Of those that did not expect their business to progress in the next two years, 60 per cent said the ongoing squeeze on price margin was the biggest threat, while 53 per cent cited concerns about labour issues, a lack of skilled people, and the impact of Brexit. John Edmunds, Constructionline’s managing director, commented: “The survey shows an awareness of changes that are coming to the sector and the vast major- ity of SMEs understand the need to engage with new technologies, which is promising. “In particular we noticed the need to

embrace Building Information Modelling (BIM) – as a way to adapt to digital working to utilise off-site manufacture.”

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