The Government should bring forward extra funding for local authority planning departments to help speed up the planning process, according to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) in response to the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on ‘The future of the planning system’ published today.

Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders, said: “I strongly support the Housing Committee’s calls for the Government to bring forward an additional £500 million over the next four years for local authority planning departments.

This will help address significant delays in the planning process that are disproportionately impacting our smallest house builders. Almost 1 in 2 small to medium-sized (SME) house builders say that the planning system is one of the biggest constraints on their ability to build more homes. My members tell me that they typically wait one year for a determination on a small site.

These statistics are unacceptable in the face of a national housing shortage, and when we are far from reaching the Government’s targets of building 300,000 new homes a year. We will only achieve this target by reversing the decline in SME house builders who once built 40% of new homes, but now just 12%.”