MPA Highlights the Missing Link in Proposed New Housing Policy
Representing the mineral products and quarrying industry, the largest supplier to the construction industry and housing sector, the MPA has continually pressed the Government to ensure that planning for the housing supply chain is recognised as an essential element of delivering the housing we need.
In the UK, building a house typically takes 200 tonnes of aggregates and mineral products such as concrete, mortar, glass and asphalt. However, without a strategic approach to the future supply of aggregates and mineral products, there is no guarantee that these commitments to housebuilding can be delivered in the medium to long term. Minerals and the domestic supply chains required to deliver the sustained increase in housebuilding demanded by the Prime Minister ("The root cause of the crisis is simple. For decades this country has failed to build enough of the right homes in the right places.") remain low on the list of Government's planning priorities within the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government, which is responsible for mineral planning. The Prime Minister's speech highlighted the need for all of the issues which potentially constrain housing delivery to be addressed ("Because if there's one thing I learned from my time working on housing at Merton Council, it's that good planning is all about detail. It's very easy for a politician to stand up and say he or she will build however many homes in however many years. But it's an empty promise if they don't also address the hundreds of smaller issues that underpin it.") but included little reference to the UK housing supply chains, their significance or the role mineral planning and regulatory processes play in supporting future supply of mineral products for housing.
Commenting, Nigel Jackson, Chief Executive of the Mineral Products Association, said:
"We entirely agree with the Prime Minister that political promises to build more houses are empty without addressing the issues which underpin housebuilding. The mineral products and quarrying industry is an essential, indigenous and major industry in its own right that is locked into the DNA of housebuilding. Policies intended to deliver more housing and better infrastructure also need to address the long-term supply of mineral products and the performance of the mineral planning system. Our industry will make the investments required to deliver the materials needed for future housebuilding and construction, but there needs to be a recognition within Government that significant work is needed to ensure the effective future operation of the mineral planning system. Supply cannot be assumed. It needs planning, monitoring and managing nationally, regionally and locally. The growing gap between housing aspiration and the supply chain means the Government's ambitions are potentially at risk from the outset and they must afford the long-term development of mineral resources as much encouragement as the developments and end-uses which rely upon them. We will continue to work with Government and key stakeholders to help 'make the link' between essential mineral products which underpin the economy and our quality of life."