Concerns that indecisive outcome will stymie long-term projects
Construction experts have expressed fears that large infrastructure projects could be stalled as a result of the hung Parliament delivered by yesterday’s general election.
Cenkos analyst Kevin Cammack told Building that such projects could be kicked into the long grass following yesterday’s inconclusive poll.
He said: “We could see more delays and stalling of projects, or even scaling back levels of intended infrastructure spending. Some will be thinking ‘what’s the point, given we might have another election in six months’ time?’.
“This is a bigger worry, frankly, than what is likely to happen on the housing front.”
Mark Robinson, chief executive of Scape Group, branded the election result as “a real shambles for both the country and our industry.
He said: “We needed a party to secure a clear majority and a mandate to implement a fiscal strategy which would support the construction industry over the next five years.
“The one glimmer of good news is that there is cross party support for investment and growth in core public areas such as education, health and housing. However, the delivery of flagship, major infrastructure projects such as HS2 and Heathrow expansion will now, unfortunately, be open to doubt and debate.”
Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation expressed concern that the indecisive election outcome was not what the country needed going in to the Brexit negotiations, “or in terms of setting a clear direction for the UK’s future”.
Julian Goddard, partner and head of residential at property consultants Daniel Watney, said voters had been “seduced” by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s “dangerous” campaign pledges on affordable housing.
He said: “No doubt many voters were seduced by Jeremy Corbyn’s promises on housing, including rent caps and mass house building by local authorities, but the reality is most of his promises are unrealistic at best or dangerous at worst.
“Countless cities across the world have experimented with rent controls, and they have all ended with less and poorer quality rental homes. Meanwhile big question marks hang over whether councils have the capacity, resources or know-how to return to house-building as major players.”
The Conservatives, led by Theresa May, has had talks with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP), and while the prime minister has met the Queen to discuss forming a government, no official deal with the DUP had been announced.