NEW legislation regarding the implementation of building safety standards needs to be underpinned by a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies, said the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the Queen’s speech yesterday (Monday 14 October) as part of the State Opening of Parliament ceremony.
Brian Berry, chief executive of the FMB, said: “The Queen’s announcement that the Government will bring forward new rigorous laws forcing compliance with building safety standards is an important and essential step in improving safety and confidence in our built environment. After the Grenfell fire tragedy it’s essential that we raise the bar in construction.
"However, the Government must go further still and publicly consult on a mandatory licensing scheme for all UK construction companies. This would serve to remove from the industry any firm that ignores health and safety procedure and risks safety in and around the built environment. Licensing would also remove rogue traders that bring the image of builders into disrepute, whether they are operating in the private domestic sector or in the supply chain on a large commercial site. We now await further details on this bill and whether it will have the teeth it needs to improve the construction sector.”
Meanwhile, others in the property industry noted with dismay a lock of focus on the sector in the Queen's Speech. Tom Gatzen, the co-founder of leading roomshare platform, ideal flatmate, commented: “It's disappointing to see that the state of the UK property market failed to make the cut for today’s speech. We’ve seen the high cost of property prices and a distinct lack of house-building result in many of us remaining resigned to the UK rental sector, while more and more us are forced to rely on shared accommodation to put a roof over our heads.
"Not only is this putting a huge strain on the rental space, but a lack of affordable and social rental options is also causing an increase in the number of people ending up on the streets. This is a major issue in today’s society and one that should come before education, infrastructure and many of the other areas of focus announced today.”
Marc von Grundherr, director of lettings and estate agent, Benham and Reeves, commented: “It really is quite astonishing that despite the consistent doom and gloom that has surrounded the UK property market for some time now, yet another blind eye has been turned to the issues plaguing our property market. The Government’s monumental failure to build enough homes has resulted in a national housing crisis and this isn’t something we can shy away from and hope it goes away.
"While previous initiatives have stoked the fires of buyer demand and caused an even greater thirst for property, the actual delivery of housing stock to meet this demand has been woeful and perhaps this latest neglect of the issue is the Government admitting defeat?"