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Steve Morgan: Redrow could provide 2,500 more jobs

Redrow founder and chairman Steve Morgan said he could provide work for 2,500 more housebuilders if the planning system could be streamlined.

Mr Morgan made the claim as he launched a new collection of 34 new traditional looking homes called The New Heritage Collection.

At the peak of the housing market Redrow built 5,000 homes, but that figure dropped to 2,100 in 2008.

But Redrow has taken on 1,150 new workers over the past year with the number of homes built in 2009 expected to have risen to around 2,500.

But Mr Morgan said the firm was still only running at around 50 per cent capacity.

He said: “In the 10 months since I’ve been back at Redrow we’ve taken on 150 people directly and created work for over 1,000 subcontractors just by getting sites up and running again.

“That’s 1,150 people taken off benefits and paying taxes again. On top of this, we’re buying British products to build our homes, which helps manufacturing, and the people who move in will buy new furniture, carpets, curtains, etc, which in turn boosts the retail sector.

“Even after creating those 1,150 jobs, we’re still only running at about 50 per cent capacity compare to our output three years ago.

“If we had the land available to get back to those levels and could get planning consents we need and could get the planning consents we need more quickly for developments featuring our New Heritage Collection product, we could potentially create a further 2,500 jobs using private sector funds.”

Redrow’s new portfolio of homes features predominantly two storey detached family homes – moving away from apartments and other high density homes seen in the UK over recent years as required under Labour planning policy.

The new collection is on site in five locations around the country already with another five expected by April.

Mr Morgan said 50 per cent of the homes built by Redrow in 2010 will be from the New Heritage Collection with 100 per cent within three years.