Gove throws cold water on Government housing target

Construction output slows slightly, but confidence remains high

The latest Purchasing Managers’ Index has revealed that construction output has slowed in April.

The survey, produced by S&P Global and CIPS UK, saw April scored at 58.2, down from 59.1 in March – with worries about increasing costs and concerns over the economic outlook dampening optimism amongst respondents.

Residential work was the worst-performing subsector in April, and saw the greatest loss in momentum at 53.8, down from 54.9 in March.

However, a survey commissioned by Travis Perkins of 1,570 tradespeople found that 48% of respondents expect to see their workload increase over the next two months.

The survey – of mostly sole traders and small builders – revealed that interest was growing in projects specifically designed to reduce energy consumption in the home.


Housing Secretary voices caution over 300,000 homes target

Housing Secretary Michael Gove has cast doubt over the Government’s election manifesto promise of 300,000 homes a year by 2025.

In an interview with Radio 4’s Today programme, Gove said that the Government would do “everything it can” to meet the target, but that it would not be tied to an arbitrary target.

[It would be] no kind of success to simply hit a target if the homes that are built are shoddy, in the wrong place, don’t have the infrastructure required and are not contributing to beautiful communities.

MICHAEL GOVE, HOUSING SECRETARY

Gove’s remarks followed confirmation in the Queen’s Speech that a bill for proposed planning reforms was being dropped, with changes instead forming part of the new Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.

The new bill is set to replace Section 106 agreements with a new levy to “deliver the infrastructure that communities need.”

Gove also confirmed that the bill would include street votes, giving communities a say on development in their area.

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