Author Topic: Government Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing in England  (Read 4957 times)

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New Home Expert

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Well it is about time something was done!  Whether this inquiry actually forces through the changes so badly required will remain to be seen.  Every new home buyer who has suffered at the hands of "big housebuilding" should and must contact Graham Watts OBE at APPGInquiry@cic.org.uk

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Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing in England
The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment is pleased to announce its 4th Inquiry, which will look at the Quality of New Build Housing in England and examine the potential for improving every aspect of the product handed over to new home-owners. 

This subject is of special significance in the wake of the government’s recently-published National Productivity Plan, which includes the ambition to build more than one million homes in England by 2020.

To bridge the huge gap between supply and demand in order to achieve this pledge, radical new thinking will be required from government, local authorities, homebuilders, housing associations, institutional investors and the financial community. But, will the drive towards vastly increased output of new homes – especially when matched to the skills capacity within the building industry - lead to an ever-diminishing spiral in the quality of the product?

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment has established its 4th Commission of Inquiry to address this important subject; and now calls upon organisations, businesses and individuals to submit evidence on how the quality of new build housing might be improved.

The Commission is particularly looking for evidence of practical strategies for example, that:
  • improve design quality and spatial standards, both at the level of individual new homes and estates of new housing.
  • ensure better quality workmanship.
  • ensure the effective control and implementation of regulations impacting on the construction of new homes.
  • have the potential for implementing smart housing with interoperable services and the provision of better and smarter information to new homeowners.
  • bring forward the opportunities afforded by offsite manufacturing, 3D printing, BIM and other new technologies.
  • provide new innovative ideas for design quality improvement.
  • cut operational and maintenance costs for the homeowner.
  • improve new home owner experience.
  • improved customer service.

The Commission is also looking for evidence that will exemplify effective coordination for bringing together organisations that have a part to play in any aspect of improving the quality of new-build housing.

The APPG for EBE Commission of Inquiry comprises members of both Houses of Parliament, senior members of the construction professions and key influencers and decision makers in other aspects of society.   

Written submissions are requested to be received no later than Friday, 30th October, 2015. There is no prescribed format for written submissions but they should be of reasonable length and possess a clear conclusion and recommendations for action and must be accompanied by all relevant appendices. Though the committee encourage submissions to include an outline of problems to do with housing quality, it is looking for submissions that go beyond outlining issues to be addressed or the scope of the problem in terms of the quality of new housing. We will prioritise submissions that present potential solutions and innovations that will provide practical opportunities to raise the quality of new homes.
Written submissions should be sent electronically to the APPGEBE Secretary, Graham Watts OBE c/o APPGInquiry@cic.org.uk

The Commission of Inquiry will examine written submissions and will set up roundtable sessions, at which oral evidence will be presented to the Commission directly. It is hoped that these will give an opportunity for a candid and open discussion, exploring alternative viewpoints and leading to a pragmatic consensus.

These formal sessions are likely to be held on Mondays (late afternoons/early evenings) in the Houses of Parliament or Portcullis House in November and December 2015 and those submitting evidence should be prepared to give evidence on one of these dates:

Monday, 16 November 2015
Monday, 23 November 2015
Monday,   7 December 2015
Monday, 14 December 2015

The Commission will invite selected organisations to present oral evidence in support of their submissions as soon as possible after 30th October 2015. 
This will be the Committee's fourth report. It has previously published the following reports:
"A better deal for public building", "Re-energising the green agenda” and “Living with water".

Oliver Colvile MP, chair of the APPG for EBE said of the inquiry;
"With the Government’s plan to build over one million new homes over the next five years, the quality of new-build housing is more important than ever. Having spoken to a number of my colleagues, I am very aware that this is an issue which is affecting families across England. I am looking forward to hearing evidence from a large range of businesses, organisations and individuals over the course of the inquiry".
The findings of the Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing will be published in early 2016.
Please address any queries regarding the Inquiry to Graham Watts OBE at APPGInquiry@cic.org.uk or on 0207 399 7402
New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.


New Home Expert

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Re: Government Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing in England
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2015, 10:58:38 am »
Those making a submission to the Inquiry Committee are shown below:

Based on my experiences at this week APPG,  they would be well-advised to bring their own tea, coffee or water!
They should also expect a poor attendance from the MPs and a bias towards a report that looks favourably on the house building industry - this Government's favourite charity!


16 November 2015 - State of play and independent analysis
1.Institute of Clerks of Works and Construction Inspectorate -Rachel Morris, Chief Executive, Ian Carey, Past President
2.Local Authorities Building Control - Paul Everall, Chief Executive, Philip Hammond, Managing Director, Barry Turner, Director of Technical Policy
3.MD Insurance Services Ltd - Rob Clay-Parker and James Bush, Managing Directors
4.Zero Carbon Hub - Rob Pannell, Managing Director, Ross Holleron, Project Director
5.Royal Institute of British Architects - Andrew Forth

23 November 2015 - Consumer Perspective
1.British Research Establishment - Chris Cousins, BRE Associate
2.Wingrove Law - Geoff Peter
3.Ben Adam-Smith
4.Barry Grossmith and Cornelius Jeronimus
5.Mr Phil Waller - brand-newhomes.co.uk

7 December 2015 - Institutions view
1.NHBC- Lewis Sidnick, Head of Corporate and External Affairs
2.Home Builders Federation - Peter Andrew, Deputy Chairman
3.Chartered Institute of Building - Stephen Stephen Wielebski, FCIOB
4.Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors  - David McCullogh, Group Director Building Control and Sustainability at Carillion
5.Association of Consultant Approved Inspectors - Paul Wilkins, Chairman and Diane Marshall, Treasurer

14 December 2015 - Doing things differently
1.Leeds Sustainability Institute, Centre for the Built Environment - Prof Chris Gorse
2.Dr Stephen and Mrs Elisabeth Watkins
3.Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists - Kevin Crawford, Vice President Technical
4.Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers Association - Sarah Kostense-Winterton, Executive Director & Steven Heath, Policy Committee Chairman
5.BLP Insurance - Vim Vernau, Chief Executive and Jeff Maxted, Director of Technical Consultancy

 
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Re: Government Inquiry into the Quality of New Build Housing in England
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2015, 08:39:49 am »
So is this APPG Inquiry going to be a waste of time?
Regarding one aspect ripe for improvement is increasing the size iof UK new homes by making the new Space Standards a mandatory requirement of the Building Regulations.
The RIBA's #HomeWise campaign is aimed at persuading the government to embed a Nationally Described Space Standard in building regulations through an amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill.

But according to one member of the APPG Inquiry committee,  RIBA housing group chair Andy von Bradsky believes there are  "differences of opinion on the merits of a national space standard within the group."

However, he said: "We are united in believing that this is not the time to be pressing for more regulation at a time that the government is so focussed on increasing housing supply. It is wasted energy."
He is also concerned that the RIBA #HomeWise campaign risks alienating housebuilders!
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New Home Expert

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On 28 April 2016 the All Party Parliamentary Group for Excellence in the Built Environment said "it will be launching its new report on the quality and workmanship of new housing in England by the end of this month." It is now (apparently) due out on Tuesday 17 May 2016.

The administrators CIC say:
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"This report is the result of an open Inquiry led by a committee comprising of members of both houses of Parliament and industry experts. This Inquiry was sparked by cases MPs have encountered among constituents frustrated by problems in their new homes and lack of adequate recourse to builders and warranty providers, to address these problems in a straightforward manner.

All appropriate organisations dealing with these issues were invited to submit evidence, and supplementary oral evidence was requested from a number of them. The weight of the evidence received suggested that as the number of new homes being built has increased, so house quality has declined."

It is notable that "supplementary evidence was requested by some of those that made a submission," however I was not among them!  Had I been, I would have been able to demonstrate that the poor quality of new homes is not a recent phenomenon, caused by increased output, although that has made the problem significantly worse.

New homes have been badly built for decades. There have been numerous TV documentaries detailing new homebuyer woes as far back as World In Action in June 1983 which highlighted Barratt's timber frame new homes.
In fact the NHBC was formed over 75 years ago to give buyers a warranty and improve the quality of new homes and establish some level of minimum standards.

There are many reason why new home are poor quality. The quantity being built is not one of them.
Large housebuilders will always build as many homes as they can sell at a profit as fast as they can.
Due to highly publicised "we are the builders" government demands for 1 million new homes by 2020, all house builders now have a ready-made excuse for their poor quality new homes.

Despite the fact that new home buyer satisfaction levels were the same following the financial crisis and subsequent recession when fewer homes were being built more slowly

More on the myth perpetuated by Taylor Wimpey CEO Pete Redfern (he knows about defective new homes) that demand for more new homes is the reason for poor quality

New Home Blog - New Home Expert is committed to providing help and advice for people having issues with their new homes and difficulties with house builders as well as helping potential buyers reduce the risk of possible problems if they do buy.