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Government announces plan to build 1 million homes by 2020

The government has announced it plans to build a million homes across England by 2020.

Housing minister Brandon Lewis said the aim was to see one million new homes over this parliament - which equates to 200,000 homes a year.

The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) said the ambitious target, which is around 50,000 fewer each year than what is required to keep pace with demand, must be backed by a comprehensive housing strategy.

Chief executive Brian Berry said: “What is needed now is a clear long-term strategy for housing to underpin the new target.  The strategy needs to address the barriers that prevent new housing being built, such as the need to speed up the planning process, and a commitment to ensure local authority planning departments are adequately resourced.”

The FMB House Builders’ Survey found that the availability of suitable small sites is now the biggest barrier to small and medium-sized house builders building more new homes and any strategy must properly address this issue.

FMB urged the government to take further steps towards empowering the smaller house builders who will play a crucial role in delivering the 200,000 a year target.

“Otherwise, the gap between what is needed and what is being delivered will remain considerable,” Mr Berry added.

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