Builders’ Merchant Travis Perkins launches a five-point manifesto calling on local councils to protect essential services such as builders’ merchants from redevelopment.
Travis Perkins has called on London councils to step in to protect essential services threatened by redevelopment. The company argues that councils must resist the temptation to meet housebuilding targets at any cost, stressing the importance of supporting essential services and skills that play a vital role in facilitating development and regeneration. The builders’ merchant has pioneered a mixed-use development model which provides new housing while also protecting essential services.
Travis Perkins have called on local councils to protect essential services in five ways:
- Protect builders’ merchants sites in Local Plans
- Publish a register of land for allocating mixed-use developments on industrial land
- Build mixed-use developments on public sector land
- Provide rental/housing support for employees in the essential services sector
- Commit to supporting local jobs and apprenticeships
Martin Meech, Group Property Director at Travis Perkins, commented: “We have met with over 20 councils to discuss the opportunities for mixed-use developments in their patch — often they leave excited by what can be achieved.
“I would urge councils to review our recommendations and adopt our manifesto. I want set out a clear message: local authorities do not face a binary choice between protecting essential services and meeting housing targets. They can have both.”
The manifesto comes ahead of the Mayor of London’s 2017 London Plan, which is expected to note the importance of promoting mixed-use developments on industrial land as a way to meet housing targets. Mayoral backing for mixed-used developments comes at an important time as the building rate for affordable homes in the capital is 9% below the level set in the 2016 London Plan.
Overall, construction in the capital increased by 8% in 2016, driving an overall upwards trend in construction employment. However, employment at builders’ merchants has declined by 34% since 2015 — highlighting the loss of these services at a time when the industry needs them.