Sunday20 August 2017

Housebuilding to kick off drive to cut EU red tape

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Home Builders Federation set to quiz members on post-Brexit reform of regulations

A cross-party drive to identify EU regulations that can be quickly amended as part of the Brexit process will make housing construction its initial focus, it has emerged.

Former Cabinet Office minister Oliver Letwin (pictured) last week launched the Red Tape Initiative, which aims to find “quick wins” that can be implemented to help UK business improve productivity as part of the Brexit process.

In a subsequent interview with Whitehall magazine Civil Service World, former minister Letwin said he envisaged the programme would conduct around 10 sector-specific inquiries over the next two years, with the first looking at lifting burdens on the housebuilding sector.

That inquiry is set to begin in June, and will feature input from the Home Builders Federation, as well as other industry groups, Letwin said. The second inquiry will look into burdens on infrastructure construction and is due to start later in the summer.

The HBF told BD that it was too early to be specific about EU regulations that it wanted to see removed in the interest of helping the industry, but said members would be consulted.

Director of external affairs John Slaughter said: “‘We will be looking at a range of EU financial, technical and environmental requirements to see how unnecessary rules for achieving public policy objectives can be cut back for the future.”

Letwin told CSW that the Red Tape Initiative was designed to sit between the proposed Great Repeal Bill, which will repatriate EU law when the UK formally leaves the European Union, and future trade deals that will be negotiated to underpin a new relationship with the remaining 27 member states.

He said the initiative would provide recommendations to government, and it would then be up to ministers to decide how to proceed, but that the expectation would be that any regulation changes would relate to domestic industry and not impact on Brexit negotiations.

Changes to the EU Wild Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive are likely to be areas of interest to housebuilders, but it is unclear whether they would meet the initiative’s criteria for consideration.



Readers' comments (6)

  • I am Alex

    That's the spirit, remove all of those unnecessary environmental restrictions that hinder volume house builders from doing what they want, where they want...

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  • Funny how those of us who have built elsewhere in the EU don't see as much red tape as that which the UK implements.

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  • Also funny how its just house builders who see 'red tape' and not developers as a whole.

    Its almost as if they are looking for excuses to make more money at the expense of this country.

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  • and so the race to the bottom begins.

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  • Germany look at the EU regs and think - they're not good enough - lets do better - why do we in the UK always go for the profit led corner cutting school of building? Hopefully the dreadful Grenfell Tower fire brings an inquest that results in forcing developers into using best quality materials regardless of cost. Lets not make Brexit an excuse for more shitty housing.

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  • SomeoneStoleMyNick

    There is no "EU red tape". There are sensible standards that everyone should uphold because they are in our interest.

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