Fireworks Fly As Commission Burns Government Build Back

Houses under construction

Fireworks have flown as the Building Back Britain Commission has set fire to the governments 'levelling up Britain' building figures in its first report - released on November 5.

The Building Back Britain Commission is an independent group comprised of the leading name in house building - Barratt Developments, Legal & General, Mace, NHBC, The Riverside Group and Thakeham. They all agree the government has got its figures in a complete muddle.

They say if the country is to succeed in levelling up the country (as found by research behind the report) as many as 140,000 homes will be required every year particularly in the North and the Midlands over the next two decades.


Key findings include:

Over the next 20 years around 86,000 to 140,000 homes will be needed every year in the areas government defines as most in need of levelling up – a third of this will be ‘affordable housing’.

This is around an additional 13,000 to 67,000 homes every year compared to the government’s current estimates for those areas.

Birmingham would require the largest increase in new homes. Currently, 4,829 homes a year have been earmarked under the standard way the government assesses need. This would rise to 12,430 homes a year under a scenario based on future growth.

Manchester requires the second largest increase in new homes. Using the present housing assessment, 3,527 homes are needed a year. This more than doubles to 7,469 homes a year based on future growth.


Housing Strategy

The Building Back Britain Commission uses the report to set out a Housing Strategy which includes a radical rethink in the way that housing demand is calculated to a model which shifts from being based on historical growth to a new ‘levelling up’ model of future need.

The report also argues for the creation of at least one ‘Construction Cluster’ in every region of the UK by 2030 to foster innovation and help train up workers in the latest methods of construction, with the first of these located in Leeds.


 “Our results have profound implications for policy. The government’s current housing strategy simply does not fit their own levelling up agenda. It is based on past growth trends and will not be dynamic enough to meet future demand.”

– Terrie Alafat CBE 

Chair, Building Back Britain Commission



Thakeham Group

Robert Boughton, CEO, Thakeham Group, says: “Sustainability and net zero are at the core of this five-point plan for Building Back Britain. This report is proposing that every new build home across the UK must be net zero by 2030, to be able to pave the way for a green recovery.”



Jason Millett, CEO for Consultancy, Mace, says: “The levelling up agenda cannot succeed if we don’t change how and where we build the homes we so desperately need. If we can unlock modern methods of housing delivery at scale, we can boost growth, create thousands of green jobs and address the causes of regional inequality that drive unequal outcomes across the UK.”


Barratt Developments

David Thomas, CEO, Barratt Developments, says: “High quality new homes need to be at the heart of government’s plans to both build back from the pandemic and to achieve its aspirational levelling up agenda. This requires a national housing strategy that is forward-looking and dynamic, delivering the right homes in the right places and helping local communities to grow successfully, creating jobs and accelerating the transition towards zero carbon neighbourhoods.”


Legal & General

Nigel Wilson, CEO, Legal & General, says: “Our report highlights that to meet levelling up targets we need an innovative vision for construction. As we see a shift in housing needs across the country, it’s important that we put the right infrastructure in place to support this, including a construction cluster in every major region.”


National House Building Council

Steve Wood, CEO, National House Building Council, says: “Our five-point plan for Building Back Britain includes measures to overcome central challenges around skills in the workforce, targets for more innovative modern methods of construction and net zero homes. It is a plan to help to ensure the industry play a central part in levelling up and the post-Covid recovery effort and I’m very pleased to be part of the Commission behind it.”

Picture: The Building Back Britain Commission's first report - released on November 5 - says a radical rethink on housing delivery is needed.


Article written by Cathryn Ellis
11th November 2021


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