UK Construction Week has conducted a survey to uncover and tackle issues facing construction, housebuilding and skills in the run up to the General Election.
Over 1,000 responses came in from a cross section of professionals working in the sector. The survey found Sir Richard Branson to be ‘the best person’ to head up new UK infrastructure projects.
Sir Richard Branson commented on the result: “The key thing one needs to get right is to plan these major projects with the customer’s needs in mind. Too often these are planned by engineers for engineers and fail to meet the user’s demand. This means they are underused and fail to have the major impact they should do.”
In addition, it was found that 77% believe state intervention is needed for more housing, 38% want Gavin Barwell to retain his position as Housing Minister and 54% want more housebuilding on brownfield sites.
Results also showed a three way split on the government’s current housing policy with a third of those polled voting both for and against current policies, and a third not convinced either way.
Gavin Barwell was voted overwhelmingly in favour as the best man for the job of Housing Minister, despite the industry not being wholly satisfied with current housing policy.
77% of those surveyed believe the only way to reach 1 million homes by 2020 is by state intervention, and for a council house building programme to begin.
In terms of major projects the industry is generally positive about these going ahead with a Conservative government, with HS2 and Heathrow seen as the safest projects followed by Hinkley point (56%), Crossrail 2 (54%), Thames Tideway (32%) and the road renewal building programme (26%).
However, there is major concern that these projects will stall if the Conservative government is no re-elected.
Nathan Garnett, Event Director at Media 10, which runs UKCW, said: “[the survey] shows that there are still a lot more assurances and interventions needed to build the homes we need and the infrastructure we have been promised. We will be using these results to make sure the main political parties know what the industry wants.”
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