Government plans to improve the beauty, quality and design of England’s housing stock need to embrace local house builders if they are to succeed, said the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the Government’s announcement of new local standards today.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “Local house builders bring forward high-quality and bespoke homes in places where people want to live. They naturally sit at the heart of plans to improve the beauty, quality and design of our homes. However, we must not compromise on consumer choice nor the proliferation of the self and custom build sector, which offers everyone the chance to design and build their own homes.”

Berry continued: “Local house builders have faced a difficult year and whilst policy agendas on beauty and environmental provisions are important, the Government must do more to remove the structural barriers that local house builders are currently facing. This should include investing in local authority planning departments so that they can make decisions more quickly and get Britain building.”

Berry concluded: “I encourage the Government to accept the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s recommendation for VAT to be cut to 5% on home improvement works. As the Commission reports, cutting VAT will stimulate the repair, maintenance and improvement (RMI) market, creating jobs and an economic boost for each community across the country. It will also improve the state of repair of our homes, and hence their beauty.”