The Government has launched a "cutting red tape" review of house building to identify and remove barriers to growth to increase productivity in the sector.

In particular the review will look at:

  • road and infrastructure rules for new housing developments;
  • environmental requirements, including EU rules such as the Habitats Directive and wider EU environmental permit requirements; and
  • rules that impact utilities (eg electricity, gas and water as well as broadband infrastructure).

The Government has said that it will also examine the changes made by the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015, as well as any examples of EU rules “that are being implemented too strictly”. It is thought that they are looking at any rules that are said to be too complicated, ineffective or poorly enforced so they can take action and “get Britain building”.

Although steps to improve the rate of house building in the UK will be welcomed, there will no doubt be some scepticism about how effective the latest review will be, given that similar initiatives in the past have failed to improve the situation, including the "Red Tape Challenge" in early 2012.  In addition, there could also be concern at the prospect of further changes to legislation that was only recently amended.

The review ends on 13 January 2016.