Mipim latest: Chair of developer Berkeley Group implores politicians not to turn housing into 2015 election campaign issue

Tony Pidgley

Tony Pidgley, chair of developer Berkeley Group, has implored politicians not to turn housing into a “political football” during the 2015 election campaign.

Speaking at the Mipim conference in Cannes yesterday, Pidgley said that solving the current undersupply of housing, which is particularly acute in London, required political consensus.

Experts calculate the industry needs to build around 240,000 homes per year in England just to keep up with demand, but it has been averaging 150,000 over the last 30 years.

Politicians on both sides of the spectrum have committed to increase this.

“Let’s hope that housing doesn’t become the political football of the next election,” he said.

“We have got to make up our minds are homes important to this country are jobs important to this country?”

He warned that political points scoring could take focus away from the real purpose of building houses.

“We have got a housing crisis and its gone to the top of the [political] agenda but it’s still about homes and communities and we have got to keep that in mind,” he said.

He said that housing for “key worker” needed to be a key component of new developments.

Pidgley said that it should be a “right” to have “a roof over your head” and that a “sea change” in people’s attitudes to see housing development as a positive thing was required.