Managing director of housebuilder Bargate Homes, Mark White, has been asked to join the advisory board of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing Market and Housing Delivery.
Chair of the APPG Ben Everitt, who also sits on the Committee for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, made the invitation to White to give an insight into what is currently happening with housebuilding on the ground.
Everitt, MP for Milton Keynes North, said: “I am delighted to welcome Mark White of Bargate Homes to the advisory board. The government has a duty to ensure people living in the UK have decent, secure, and affordable homes to live in. Without the input from those who are actively developing new homes across the UK, we couldn’t address the industry’s greatest challenges in an informed and constructive fashion.”
Everitt added: “This group has been formed by parliamentarians who share a belief in the importance of building new homes, and want to raise housing high up the political agenda. Despite decades of discussion and countless policy initiatives, the UK housing crisis remains.”
Hampshire-based Bargate Homes is currently developing 900 homes across six schemes in Hampshire, Dorset and West Sussex, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of affordable home provider Vivid. The 900 homes are open market and affordable family homes.
White said: “With mandatory local authority housing targets now scrapped by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, there has never been a more pressing need to work with government to address the vast challenges faced by the housebuilding industry.”
Housing secretary Michael Gove revealed earlier this month he would water down local housing targets, making them advisory rather mandatory, after pressure from backbenchers to scrap them altogether through a tabled amendment by MP Theresa Villiers to the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill.
White added: “Much more needs to be done to help fix the planning system, solve the prolonged phosphates, nitrates, and nutrient neutrality issue, and stimulate the new homes market.” Throughout the year nutrient neutrality rules have put on hold over 100,000 homes with 74 councils in England unable to allow developments if they are likely to add to nitrate and phosphate levels in watercourses in certain areas.
White said: “We have 500 tradespeople working for us, and with the impact of planning and nutrient neutrality issues, Brexit, the prolonged unrest in Ukraine, soaring energy costs, and inflation, it costs £20,000 more to build a typical three-bedroom Bargate home than it did only five years ago. I am looking forward to contributing my thoughts to the APPG – navigating through the housing target void.”
The housing market and delivery APPG, which meets 12 times a year, aims to inform and stimulate debate on policy affecting the UK housing market, and gives advise to parliamentarians, proposing topics for research.
It wants to promote the importance of the delivery of new homes across all tenures and regularly meets with ministers and other policymakers.
Officers for the APPG are: Peter Gibson MP, Conservative, Darlington; Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP, Labour, Brighton Kemptown; Gagan Mohindra MP, Conservative, South West Hertfordshire; Andrew Lewer MP MBE, Conservative, Northampton South; and Paul Holmes MP, Conservative, Eastleigh.
Members of the APPG include: Christian Wakeford MP, Labour, Bury South; Bob Blackman MP, Conservative, Harrow East; Greg Smith MP, Conservative, Buckingham; James Sunderland MP, Conservative, Bracknell; Lord Porter of Spalding; Baron Taylor of Warwick; Paul Howell MP, Conservative, Sedgefield; Shaun Bailey MP, Conservative, West Bromwich West; Simon Fell MP, Conservative, Barrow and Furness; and Dehenna Davison MP, Conservative, Bishop Auckland.