Readers offer a solution to propel feed-in tariffs to success, draw up a plan to help small builders and extol the virtues of forward-thinking projects such as the McLaren factory

Fixing FITs

Regarding your story, ‘Carillion takes £20m hit on FITs lay-offs’ (7 December,, a lack of vision, compounded by insufficient monitoring on a weekly/monthly basis to see whether “actual” matched “plan” has resulted in this panic response by the government.

We should be aiming:

  • To encourage capital and manufacturing cost reductions to make PV more affordable for a greater proportion of householders/businesses.
  • To help generate green jobs.
  • For an equitable distribution of feed-in tariffs (reduce profiteering)
  • To ultimately achieve parity with power generated for the grid.

This could be achieved by:

  • A capped FIT that is linked to price performance to ensure a good ROI of 5% to 8% and eight to 10 year payback period.
  • Lowering the cap on a monthly/quarterly basis to encourage reductions in capital and manufacturing costs.

Unless its hidden somewhere in the small print, what is astounding is the fact that the daft impact statement accompanying the consultation document doesn’t assess any impact on jobs. For a government concerned about the economy, this is just gobsmacking.

Rob Veck, via

A plan for the small

In reference to your story ‘Strategic forum for construction draws up ‘action plan’ for government’ (5 December,, they could start off by agreeing with the government to outlaw late payment practices across the whole supply chain, then they could move on to abandoning framework agreements and allow real small and local builders to compete for public sector work. Then probably the government’s targets for
re-generating the apprenticeship training programmes might be achieved … I know, this is only dreaming. Instead I’m sure we’ll carry on with the usual menu of resurrected proposals to put yet more work in the hands of our larger bretheren - after all, that’s been a great success for the whole industry
hasn’t it?

Alistair McHarg, via

In the fast lane

One word about your article on the Mclaren factory (25 November, page 22): superb. This is a structure and work place to be proud of, engineered and constructed in the UK … a solution that shows real lateral thinking.

Keith Stout, via


On pages 48-49 in the 16 December edition of Building, an article by Merissa Martinez of Trowers & Hamlins [entitled “Suspend your disbelief”] contained three editorial errors. The reference to “201” should have read “2011”; the reference to “main contract contractor” should not have contained the word ‘contract’; and the sentence referring to the NEC was misplaced into the middle of a paragraph explaining the JCT subcontracts, making it read as if the NEC subcontracts were being discussed when they were not. Building apologises for any confusion.

Trowers & Hamlins