If local government acts quickly and decisively to clear the way for housing development, Britain can avoid a new recession, the Berkeley Group says today.
The comments come as Berkeley publishes a new report revealing the potential impact of housebuilding on the British economy.
The analysis by Ernst and Young revealed that the Berkeley Group supported more than £2.6bn of economic activity in the UK during 2012, a 25% increase over the previous year. This figure is more than twice the £1bn amount earmarked for the Government's Regional Growth Fund, which is expected to create and safeguard thousands of jobs.
This activity translates into a contribution of over £1bn to the UK's Gross Domestic Product, an increase of 16% compared with the prior year, at a time when the UK's GDP fell by over half a percentage point.
Rob Perrins, Managing Director of the Berkeley Group, said:
"If this is what Berkeley alone can deliver, just think what could be achieved nationally if we met the housing shortfall. Imagine the impact on the economy.
We have the capacity to invest 30% more over the coming year, providing Government creates the conditions for growth."
The report also found that Berkeley made a major contribution to job creation. In 2012 alone, the company supported 16,000 jobs in the UK, with each new home built by the developer sustaining 4.5 jobs.
"People need to recognise that all the jobs, homes and tax produced by Berkeley are the result of positive decisions by local councils. It's these local decisions that unlock national growth. And this is the big shift Britain needs to make in 2013. Whitehall needs to get alongside local government and help them make decisions quickly. We need Local Plans in place. Councillors involved early. And then companies like Berkeley can invest."
On average, 96% of developments by Berkeley are on brownfield land, transforming derelict or redundant sites into new communities. For example, Chelsea Bridge Wharf in south London, formerly a vacant car compound, has now been developed into a thriving neighbourhood with 1,128 homes and 186,000sq ft of commercial space.
Ernst & Young estimates that for every £1 investment by Berkeley in the regeneration of this site, £2.33 worth of economic activity was created in the UK. This one site alone supported 3,415 jobs on and off site, while generating £587m of economic activity across Britain.
Berkeley contributes significantly to the UK economy by attracting inward investment, providing affordable homes, and investing millions of pounds towards community facilities.
Between 2008 and 2012 Berkeley also:
- Committed a quarter of a billion pounds (£245m) to community infrastructure such as schools, health, sports and transport facilities.
- Committed to deliver more than 7,000 affordable homes, an average of over 1,400 per year and accounted for 23% of all affordable housing commitments made in London during 2011.
- Ends -
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.
- The Berkeley Group was voted Britain's Most Admired Company across all industries in 2011, and has been ranked Britain's most sustainable major housebuilder for the last seven years in a row by the Next Generation benchmark.
- The Berkeley Foundation supports young people and their communities across London and the South of England through charitable donations and the time and talent of our staff.
All media enquiries to: Matt Bell, Group Head of External Affairs. firstname.lastname@example.org 01932.868555.