Mark Dyason, Managing Director, Thistle Finance:
“There’s no doubt that office-to-residential conversions have had a positive impact on the number of new homes being built so any simplification of this process is to be welcomed.
“Empty commercial deadwood is helping to regenerate local neighbourhoods around the UK and it’s a trend that needs to continue.
“Coupled with the additional £500m set aside for the Housing Infrastructure Fund, the right noises are emerging from this Government.
“The question, as ever, is whether the Government will simply talk the talk or actually walk the walk.
“Over the years plenty of initiatives to get Britain building have been proclaimed with great fanfare and not one has made a material impact on the number of new homes being built.
“The problem is the revolving door at the housing ministry spins faster than any other government department.
“There’s zero consistency, often zero ministerial understanding of the property market itself and, to top it all off, never enough time to stick to a coherent game plan.
“What many in the property industry would like to see for the benefit of new build is a cross-party working group with a remit that extends beyond the parliamentary cycle and individual budgets.”