Smaller developers will not be squeezed out of the market say HBF

Home Builders Federation executive chairman Stewart Baseley has made a last minute plea to Chancellor Gordon Brown to scrap the planning gain supplement when he presents tomorrow’s Budget.

In his keynote speech at an HBF conference this morning, Baseley told delegates that the organisation’s opposition to the controversial levy had been noted at ‘the most senior levels in the Treasury’.

He said: ‘I have absolutely no idea what the Chancellor has planned on this, but it is certainly not too late to judiciously apply the red pen.’

He also rejected the National Federation of Builders’ concerns that smaller developers would be squeezed out of the market if they have to meet the higher environmental standards outlined in the code for sustainable homes.

‘For smaller developers that want to take advantage of the changing market and take a lead, they have the ability to move faster and innovate quicker,’ he said, adding that the smaller firms could benefit from the technological solutions developed by larger companies.

‘They have the reassurance that the larger players have little choice but to invest in new technology and find solutions.’

He also rejected Environment Agency chairman Sir John Harman’s recent suggestion that house builders would have to radically remodel their designs to comply with the code’s higher levels.

‘The homes our forebears built a hundred years ago were six times less energy efficient than the homes of today. Achieving zero carbon performance standards will require less of an advance than that achieved to date.’