Martin Valentine is the Managing Director of Nottingham-based Positive Homes Ltd – aiming to build 500 super-low energy homes over the next five years. More at www.positivehomes.co.uk
Positive Homes is what all Governments say they want more of: an SME developer wanting to innovate and grow, by building extremely low energy homes. There’s a raft of measures out there – money from the Homes and Communities Agency, support from D2N2, councils and public bodies with land to sell, and political parties tackling the ‘housing crisis’ by promising ever higher numbers of new homes. But councils are forced to sell to the highest bidder, and finance is still hard to come by. The planning system – despite some reforms of late – is overwhelmed and cumbersome.
Meanwhile, since the Brexit vote, we’ve seen material prices rises well into double figures – while lead times for items like roof tiles have lengthened from a few weeks to around five months.
So what would be our asks of the new Government?
Not easy, but far from impossible!