Developer Crest Nicholson appeals to government to relax planning laws in Autumn Budget

Helen Cahill
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It is thought that Hammond will address housing shortages in the Budget (Source: Getty)

Crest Nicholson today appealed to the government for housing restrictions to be relaxed in the Autumn Budget.

The figures

For the year ended 31 October, the number of completions rose 2.3 per cent from 2,870 to 2,935.

Read more: UK housing market may be hit by uncertainty after the election, here's why

Forward sales grew 13.6 per cent year-on-year to £391.1m, and the number of units was up 12.6 per cent, to 1,997.

The group is targeting £1.4bn in sales in 2019.

Why it's interesting

The Prime Minister has been reaching out to housebuilders ahead of the Autumn Budget as the housing crisis continues to damage her party's reputation with young people.

And, like many other developers, planning restrictions are a key issue for Crest Nicholson. The firm said today that it is hoping to see "renewed energy" on this area of government policy in the upcoming Autumn Budget.

Read more: Reach for the stars: Builders urge Hammond to axe property height rules

"Maintaining momentum through planning is a major challenge for the industry and continues to be a key focus for the business as we seek to increase site numbers and grow our contribution to housing delivery," Crest Nicholson said in a statement.

"For each site, every week saved in planning is someone’s new home gained."

Philip Hammond is rumoured to be considering a relaxation of planning laws, but Theresa May said in Prime Minister's Questions today that she will not be building on green belt land.

"Some support for housebuilders is already anticipated but it’s doubtful if the government is proposing anything radical," said Neil Wilson, market analyst at ETX Capital.

What Crest Nicholson said

Stephen Stone, chief executive of Crest Nicholson, said: "I am pleased to report yet another year of growth for the group. The business continues to increase the number of homes built and carries positive momentum into 2018 with strong forward sales.

"Our latest new division in the Midlands is up and running, more outlets are being opened and we continue to pursue the disciplined expansion of the group's land pipeline for the future."

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