Housebuilder Redrow said yesterday the UK faces a return to the cramped housing conditions of the Thirties unless there is a major overhaul of the building planning systemThe company, led by chairman Steve Morgan, said critics of the Government’s policy to ease planning delays risked exacerbating the current housing shortage and further dampening hopes of first-time buyers.
“The present planning system is too bureaucratic and not fit for purpose,” he said. “We spend more on planning fees than we do on bricks.
"But we need to build new homes to prevent us returning to the days of two or three people living in the same room because they can’t find anywhere to live.”
He was speaking as Redrow reported pre-tax profits of £25.3million in the year to June 30, up from £700,000 last time, on sales up to 2,626 from 2,587.
Average selling prices rose to £174,000 from £154,800, helped by the popularity of its two-to-four room New Heritage family homes. Morgan, who also chairs Premier League side Wolves, said cancellation rates were flat at 18 per cent with mortgage availability the main reason for buyers pulling out.
It said it had high hopes for its new London division after it bought five sites, including ones in Ealing and Kingston, with a development value of £200million.