Matt Beckley
Matt Beckley

A BURNTWOOD business chief says he hopes the General Election will lead to a period of stability.

Labour ousted the Conservatives from power after sweeping to victory this week.

Matt Beckley, head of development at Keon Homes, said businesses would be looking to the new government to take action on key issues.

He added that the housebuilding sector also needed support to get developments up and running quicker.

“There has been a lot of uncertainty in the market and that doesn’t suit anyone – what we would really love to see is stability in the first instance.

“Going forward, there needs to be some form of planning application reform to cut down the time it takes to get developments off the ground.

“At the moment, it can take anything up to two years to get things through and that just isn’t feasible for our sector.

“Other welcome measures would be a long-term housing strategy, extensions to the Affordable Homes Grant programme and some first-time buyer policies to get people on the ladder.

“Alongside the planning reform, we really need to see a return of the mandator
housing targets for local authorities, which was taken away by the Conservatives. This gave some councils the perfect opportunity to slow down work or, in some cases, pull developments altogether.”

Matt Beckley

Mr Beckley said ensuring a well-trained workforce also needed to be high on the agenda.

“I’d like Labour to start to address the issue with skills.

“There is a real lack of young people entering our sector and we need a co-ordinated approach from government, education and industry to get this back on track.”

Matt Beckley

Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.

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