A call for relaxation of red tape to boost building and meet new national housing targets has come from the director of a top Flintshire construction firm.
Tom Anwyl, who heads Anwyl Construction, the contracts division of the Ewloe-based Anwyl Group, says Chancellor Philip Hammond has to take measures to help Britain’s builders in Wednesday’s Budget.
It is widely expected that construction will be a prime focus of the first ever November Budget – it has been shifted in the political calendar from the spring – with the Chancellor keen to increase the number of houses being built to 300,000 a year to solve the housing crisis.
Mr Anwyl said: “Clearly there’s a need for more housing in both the private and the public sectors and
for an increase in incentives like Help To Buy.
“Construction traditionally leads the country out of recession.
“But (to do that) we need to make it easier to build and we need to increase the skills base because we have lost a generation of tradespeople.
“We need a relaxation of the regulations on where we can build, the opening up of more brownfield sites and an injection of urgency into the infrastructure and utilities companies so that they don’t hold up development.
“Too often new building projects are delayed by hold ups with statutory authorities.
“If Phillip Hammond is going to put housing top of his priority list, the government will need powers to force these companies to work in sync with developers.
“We cannot allow delays in water, electricity, gas and telecoms to hold up development in the way they are doing now while in Wales we also face issues of more regulation and additional specification which don’t apply in England which cause additional delays.”
Mr Anwyl has previously warned that the building industry in North Wales and the North West also faces a looming crisis in the number of skilled workers as more and more approach retirement and a shortfall of those being trained to replace them.
He said: “At Anwyl, we’re proud of our record in training and in the work we do with organisations like The Prince’s Trust to get more young people into the building industry.
“We encourage our sub-contractors to take on apprentices and their willingness and commitment to apprenticeships is part of the selection criteria to become one of our supply chain partners.
“We work closely with further education colleges to promote apprenticeships and build links with primary and secondary schools in the communities in which we work which aim to educate young people about the fantastic opportunities available within the construction industry.
“At Anwyl Construction we are dedicated to thoughtful building and investing in our people and we work with every member of our team to achieve each stage of their personal learning and development plan, enabling them to be the best they can be.”
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