james dickens

Reaction to the Change of Government from James Dickens, md of Wavensmere Homes

James Dickens at Belgrave Village, Birmingham

James Dickens, Managing Director of Wavensmere Homes, said: “From an apolitical standpoint, it is positive to see a moderate party elected with such a strong mandate, which should provide the ability to deliver change, alongside much-needed political stability.

“After 14 years of the Conservatives in No.10, this new Labour administration has promised sweeping reforms to the planning system and a reintroduction of mandatory local housing targets. Indeed, during Sir Keir, Angela Rayner, and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rachel Reeves’ recent visits to our live sites, we were reassured that a planning overhaul would be central to Labour’s economic policies. Hiring 300 additional planners to help expedite decisions will be a small step in the right direction, but many more policy and legislative changes are required to address the chronic lack of supply of new homes.

“It’s also encouraging that Labour has pledged to tackle typical brownfield build-rates, which are on average 34% slower* than greenfield sites. Wavensmere Homes has turned Lichfields’ national statistic on its head, consistently completing well over 500 homes on brownfield sites per year. 

“With inflation back at the 2% target, a Base Rate cut may finally be on the cards at the Bank of England’s MPC meeting in four weeks’ time. That much-anticipated decision – combined with post-Election market confidence – could lead to an uptick in sales. However, the new administration must make sure more first time buyers can access the housing ladder. The overall health of the market would improve from a government initiative enabling would-be homeowners without a significant deposit to climb out of the rental trap.

“Wavensmere Homes has grown year-on-year by defying industry challenges and constructing attainably priced houses and apartments in highly sustainable, popular urban locations. Our focus on construction deliverability will see the keys for £120m of high EPC-rated new homes handed over to customers across the Midlands and Suffolk this year.

“Schemes like Belgrave Village in central Birmingham sit in distinct contrast to every other residential construction site on the horizon. The city skyline is awash with tower cranes for Build-To-Rent blocks. However, it’s actually family houses and a mix of different typologies that are in high demand, so that’s what we design and build. We’re keen to see how quickly and effectively Labour can implement change to fulfil the Party’s pledge of 1.5 million new homes during this Parliament.”  

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