On 5 July 2016 the Communities and Local Government Committee ("CLG Committee") launched an inquiry into the capacity of the housebuilding industry to meet demand for new homes because, as its tweet on the matter states, 'Not enough homes are being built in England.'

The inquiry is wide-ranging and the Committee has invited submissions of evidence on the following issues:

  • Whether the numbers of builders and types of firms in the homebuilding industry is sufficient to meet housing demand.
  • The structure of the homebuilding industry, in particular the role of small and medium-sized developers.
  • Housebuilders' business models and how risk and uncertainty affect incentives to expand.
  • The sustainability, size and skills of the building industry workforce.
  • Why fewer homes are being started and completed than the number of planning permissions being granted.
  • The extent to which current planning approaches cause delays to the building of new homes.
  • Innovative approaches to increasing the housing supply, for example self-build, off-site construction and direct commissioning by central government and local housing companies.
  • The role of development finance and how it can promote or constrain housing investment.

The Chair of the CLG Committee, Clive Betts MP, said "… The Committee will cast a critical eye over the major homebuilders, examine the decline of small and medium-sized developers and look closely at the skills shortages, planning delays and finance issues hampering the industry.'

It is impossible to think that the impact of Brexit will not play a significant role in the Committee's considerations especially in the context of the supply of a skilled workforce and the availability of development finance.

The findings of this inquiry could help to inform planning and housing policy alongside the eagerly awaited report from the Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords on the economics of the United Kingdom housing market. That inquiry has concluded its evidence stage and the report is being written.

The CLG Committee would be grateful to receive written submissions by 12 September 2016 and click here for further details.