LONDON Feb 8 One of Britain's biggest builders
Redrow said on Wednesday a government policy white paper
designed to tackle the growing housing crisis by helping renters
and building more homes lacks detail in several areas.
Britain set out plans on Tuesday to make renting more
affordable and punish developers for not building quickly
enough, in an effort to boost housebuilding, which has failed to
keep up with demand for decades.
But Redrow, which posted a record first-half profit of 140
million pounds ($175 million) in results published on Wednesday,
said several aspects of the plan needed to be fleshed out.
"I guess the disappointment in the paper is that it talks
about a lot of things but it's a little bit light on detail as
to how these things will be imposed," Chief Executive John Tutte
"(On) local authorities: it's putting them under pressure to
put their plans in place, it sort of hints at what the penalties
might be, but it's not actually specific on them ... it's more a
consultation paper than it is a prelude to a bill," he said.
Britain wants to boost the number of new homes coming onto
the market in England from 190,000 units a year to at least
250,000, but some builders are concerned that any limits on
immigration imposed following Britain's vote to leave the
European Union could limit their ability to boost supply.
The industry has long found it difficult to fill all the
skilled positions it requires domestically and on some London
building sites more than half of construction workers are from
the European Union.
"You can see with the output that the industry is expected
to increase to over the coming years that actually it could
struggle with skills, particularly if we lose a lot of foreign
labour," Tutte said.
($1 = 0.8002 pounds)
(Reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by Louise Heavens)