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New Housing scheme welcome but long overdue

January 3, 2014 9:30 AM

Welsh Government Minister for Housing Carl Sargeant yesterday announced the launch of a new 'Help To Buy' scheme which is intended to help first time buyers onto the housing ladder and boost the housing market.

There has, however, been criticism of the delay in getting a scheme off the ground in Wales. In England a similar scheme was introduced last April.

The Welsh Labour Government had previously scrapped a scheme called NewBuy Cymru which had been agreed as part of a budget deal with the Welsh Liberal Democrats in 2011. They dragged their heels for over a year to the point where the scheme became too complex and was deemed unworkable,

In a survey recently carried out amongst house builders by Welsh Liberal Democrat Housing spokesperson Peter Black AM responses showed

  • 95% said that local authorities and the Welsh Government do not work well together in planning infrastructure developments
  • 72% said they struggled to access available land for new development
  • 45% said their business had felt the impact of the Welsh Government's decision to scrap the planned 'NewBuy Cymru' scheme

Peter Black said at the time

"It is clear that many builders struggle to cope with delays and red tape imposed by local planning authorities. The whole planning system needs to be overhauled so as to streamline processes and ensure that we do not put off investors.

"Wales is in desperate need of new homes. It is clear that the majority of house builders believe that Welsh Labour Government red-tape is a major barrier.

"It can come as no surprise that nearly half of house builders felt the negative impact of the Welsh Labour Government's calamitous mishandling of 'NewBuy Cymru'.

"It is vitally important that the new 'Help to Buy' scheme is properly targeted so that new homes will be built. Wales is the only part of the UK where new house building actually has declined over the last year. This trend needs to be reversed."