MMA calls for More Homes and Long-lasting Homes

2 May 2017

More Homes and Long-lasting Homes

The need for new housing in England has in recent years grown faster than its supply and projections suggest there will be at least 227,000 new households formed each year between 2011 and 2021. This is substantially higher than the annual average of 166,000 extra homes in England over the last 10 years. As a sector producing UK manufactured bricks, blocks and mortar the MMA are encouraged that the Government has responded by focussing on increasing the supply of homes, and the ambition of delivering a million new homes in England by 2020.

Broadly, the industry is responding to this need. Throughout the UK there was significant investment in 2016, and there is further investment for 2017, for example old plants are being replaced to increase production rates or new additional production lines.

Whilst the MMA broadly support the need for more housing and the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Housing White Paper which recognises past problems limiting growth in housing numbers and promotes aid for small and medium sized home builders, we consider that it incorrectly attributes delay to shortcomings in traditional construction and is misinformed as to the contribution offsite construction methods can make in terms of numbers, long term quality and immediate delivery.

Masonry is a locally and responsibly produced, long life, low carbon, lowest cost option and requires little or no imports. Local jobs and industries already exist and need support: why resort to and encourage further use of imported materials? Housing built with masonry and concrete construction has inherent whole life benefits of fire resistance, acoustic separation and climate change resilience (flooding, overheating and extreme weather) that outlast short term, lightweight imported systems.

Read the full response from the MMA  to the Housing White Paper

In summary:

Modern Masonry Alliance - Recommended actions for policy-makers

  • Build on existing supply chains for local materials and an immediate response.
  • Expand and re-engage existing skilled work force as well as increase training provision.
  • Increase funding for training provision.
  • Ensure that Planning and Building regulations encourage whole-life sustainable solutions.
  • Ensure that whole-life measurement is a basis for assessment of appropriate design solutions.
  • Ensure that housing solutions are climate resilient.
  • Adopt homeowner’s principal quality criteria.
  • Increase quality control via Building Control.
  • Add protection of fabric in the event of fire to the current protection of occupants in the Building Regulations.

Modern Masonry Alliance - Proposed actions for our Members

  • Maintain capacity surveys and continue actions to further increase supply.
  • Increase training including commitment to Sustainability Supply Chain School.
  • Continue to commit to targets, actions and data collection as part of Concrete Industry Sustainable Construction Strategy, and publication of annual performance report and Resource Efficiency Action Plans.
  • Continue dissemination of good practice to designers, specifiers and stakeholders.
  • Continue with lowering carbon and other emissions in line with Government commitments to 2050.
  • Continue investment in innovation, novel cements, BIM, EPDs, and other material and construction method improvements.
  • Maintain the most cost-effective solutions for new build housing.