Martin Donohue, the outgoing chief executive of housebuilder Westbury, this week attacked the government for failing to implement the measures recommended in the Barker report.
Donohue was critical of the government’s failure to release public land for development outside the designated growth areas in Milton Keynes, Kent, the M11 corridor and the Thames Gateway.
He was especially scathing about the part played by English Partnerships, the government’s regeneration quango.
He said: “The involvement of EP in public land releases seeks to impose a level of control on design, pricing and the proportion of social housing, such as to risk making many developments uneconomic.
“The emphasis on public consultation, and the disconnection between central and local government, are combining to make the planning process as slow and tortuous as ever.”
Colin Cole, a Westbury director, said EP acted as a drag on development. “We can’t see anything wrong with the government releasing land directly to the industry,” he said, adding that Westbury “cannot see the benefit of English Partnerships at the moment”.
Donohue’s attack coincided with the publication of Westbury’s annual results. The housebuilder announced a 13% rise in pre-tax profit to £120m. Turnover was up 2% to £893m.
Donohue, who has worked at Westbury for the past 33 years has been chief executive for the past 10. He will be succeeded by Nigel Fee, the boss of Westbury’s homes division, in November.