The Construction Products Association has expressed disappointment that the Budget has not done enough to stimulate housing refurbishment ahead of the Green Deal in 2012.
CPA chief executive Michael Ankers said: “Despite the Chancellor re-iterating the claim that they want to be the greenest government ever, no measures were announced that would encourage increased investment in the energy efficiency of existing homes in advance of the Green Deal which is due to come in towards the end of 2012.”
On plans to help more first time buyers, Mr Ankers said: “We are pleased that the Chancellor has recognised the enormous difficulty the housing market has been facing for several years and the introduction of financial help for first time buyers is a much needed boost.
“However, this is a very modest step and is unlikely to make much of a dent in the 100,000 shortfall of new build that this sector is currently facing.”
He told Construction News: “I don’t want to sound churlish but when you think that we are producing about 100,000 fewer houses than we need it’s a bit of a drop in the ocean - but anything is better than nothing.”
However, he Mr Ankers welcomed the government’s decision to change the definition of zero carbon new homes from what he said were effectively code 6 homes to code 5.
“I think it’s a realistic definition to focus on what building regulations can deliver at this stage.”
He said: “We welcome a number of measures that have been brought in to encourage growth in the economy. These include a serious attempt to unblock the planning system, encouragement for sustainable development, opening up economic activity with the introduction of Enterprise Zones and helping first time buyers access the housing market.
“The proposed planning changes are very welcome as they recognise and address some of the difficulties faced by industrial and commercial development. By encouraging the planning process in favour of jobs and growth with a presumption in favour of sustainable development, will hopefully avoid unnecessary delays by local authorities and help stimulate economic activity. Similarly the investment in 21 Enterprise Zones will also encourage much needed investment and expansion in a number of regions across the country.”