Housebuilders are considering abandoning Wales due to regulatory burdens, while a lack of collaboration between local authorities could be holding back infrastructure finance.
Speaking at RICS conference on the future of Welsh infrastructure on Monday, Llanmoor Homes director Simon Grey said developers face additional regulations in Wales, but did not receive financial support in meeting them.
Examples include the 55 per cent reduction in carbon emissions in Wales required in the 2006 Building Regulations by 2013, affordable Housing provisions and controversial proposals that all new homes come with sprinkler systems.
Mr Grey said: “If we don’t reduce these burdens then development in Wales will be stymied and I believe that many national housebuilders will be seriously considering their presence in Wales and deciding to concentrate their efforts elsewhere.
“The market has seen a huge downturn and it is not possible for us to fund the aspiration of the Welsh Government and local authorities.”
Welsh secretary Cheryl Gillan told delegates she wanted to see the government working in cooperation with the Welsh Assembly, and that she would be appealing to Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones to consider implementing national planning policies such as the presumption in favour of sustainable development and the creation of Enterprise Zones.
Ms Gillan said: “We recognise there is a shortfall of financing for capital projects and many conflicting priorities. Business interests are strengthened if the governments work together and the future should be about collaboration and co-operation and not about competition.”
Speakers argued for the need to develop rail, road and air infrastructure in Wales.
PricewaterhouseCoopers assistant director Gronw Percy said the fact that Bristol had been named among the 21 new Enterprise Zones meant more competition for Welsh development, and made the need to get a Welsh Enterprise Zone started more urgent.