The Berkeley Group warmly welcomes publication by the Government of the final National Planning Policy Framework.
"This should provide a major boost for housing and employment", said Rob Perrins, the Group's Managing Director. "Building new homes is how society delivers on the basic human right each person has to shelter. And yet we make it fantastically difficult to put a roof over everyone's head. The NPPF does not create a free for all. It gives us all a chance to create more and better places for people to live."
Berkeley welcomes the Government's insistence on a short transition period to the new arrangements, the emphasis given to brownfield sites, and greater clarity over the definition of sustainable development.
The Group also sees the NPPF as setting a new culture for development in this country. Both the new planning framework and the Localism Act which preceded it attach much greater significance to the idea of collaboration and public engagement.
"There is a trade off here", says Perrins. "The industry gets less regulation and a simpler planning framework. In return, we are being asked to embrace localism. That means working in a more collaborative way, not just consulting local communities but developing places with them."
After a hotly contested debate over the draft NPPF, Berkeley believes all sides need to move on.
"It's not a battle we need any more but a conversation about the value of housing and how we can dramatically increase the supply of good quality homes. We need 21 million people who already own a home to engage with the idea that another couple of million also want to - and have just as much right to."
Notes to editors:
The Berkeley Group build homes and neighbourhoods. We focus on creating beautiful, successful places. We work together with other people to tackle the shortage of good quality homes, and we make a lasting contribution to the landscape and to the communities we help create.
- The Berkeley Group is made up for 5 autonomous companies: St George, St James, Berkeley, Berkeley First, and St Edward. We are publicly-owned and listed on the London Stock Exchange as a FTSE 250 company.
- Berkeley's business strategy is called Vision 2020. This focuses on four key areas: running a sustainable business, the customer experience, delivering sustainable communities, and building greener homes.
- The Berkeley Group was voted Britain's Most Admired Company across all industries in 2011 and Housebuilder of the Year for the last two years.
- The Berkeley Foundation supports young people and their communities across London and the South-East of England through charitable donations and the time and talent of our staff.
- The Berkeley Group has come top of the Next Generation benchmark for the last six years, which ranks the UK's 25 biggest housebuilders on sustainability.