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More needs to be done to ensure that communities understand the benefits of developing in their areas.

Date Posted: 10 December 2015

At last, housing is a hot topic in the UK, with calls for more new homes to be built coming from all directions. However, for every demand for new homes there are a dozen people lobbying to prevent developments being built in their communities.

Wherever any housebuilder chooses to develop, there will always be opposition from people who are concerned about the strain the development will put on local facilities and schools. While these concerns are both valid and understandable, they have usually been addressed by the developer long before they have even been raised by the community.

We’re all aware of the negative perceptions that many people have of housebuilders as uncaring companies who build wherever they want with no regard for the well-being of local residents, and this perception is a large part of the problem.

As a local family-run business, at Llanmoor Homes we believe in ensuring that our developments benefit communities and families already living in the area, as well as potential new residents. We do our best to engage with local communities and authorities to ensure the best possible outcome for both the developments and local people. The issue is that local people don’t trust us to deliver on these outcomes because they believe we are only looking to maximise profit for ourselves.

As housebuilders, we know that this is not the case. We contribute a total of £576million every year to public services including educational facilities, public open spaces, community facilities and transportation. Areas with new housing developments tend to have better schools, roads and public services and evidence shows that residents of the new homes being built will spend an extra £3.2 billion on goods and services in the local area.

For people who are concerned about the environmental impact of new developments it needs to be raised that we try to develop brownfield sites, which would otherwise be left unused, and work to protect the local plant and wildlife wherever possible. Protecting and maintaining the environment is just as important to us as it is to local residents, but it’s also vital that we meet the need for new homes.

In particular, the need for affordable housing is incredibly high in the UK at the moment, and as an industry we are working hard to ensure that we build suitable starter homes as well as bigger family homes to provide more opportunities for people to work their way onto the property ladder. Housebuilders have embraced the Help to Buy schemes that have been launched to enable more people to secure a mortgage, we want more people to be able to own a house.

If more was done by Local Authorities and governments to ensure that people were educated about this, we would face far less opposition from communities because they would already understand the benefits of new developments before we announced them. It’s up to us, as housebuilders, to work hard to change these perceptions and raise awareness of the reasons why we need new developments and how positive their impacts can be for local people. I do believe that when the general opinion on housebuilders and new developments is less negative, we will be able to continue the important work we do knowing that we have the full support of the UK public.

- Tim Grey, Sales Director at Llanmoor Homes.

 Llanmoor Homes is one of the only remaining large scale, family-owned housebuilders in South Wales. Established in 1966, Llanmoor is directed by brothers Simon, Tim and Matthew Grey from their headquarters in Talbot Green. Llanmoor currently has 8 developments across South Wales.