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Scotland has a ‘mountain’ to climb to solve its housing crisis

Housebuilders may never meet the demand for housing north of the border due to the various challenges that they face when it comes to delivering the new homes that Scotland desperately needs, according to a leading industry figure.

Addressing 1,100 senior industry representatives in Edinburgh last week, the chief executive of trade body Homes for Scotland, Nicola Barclay, likened housebuilding, which is still 40% down on pre-recession levels, to climbing a mountain.

She said: “Just when you think you’re at the top, you see how much further you still have to go.  Whether it’s developer contributions, planning applications, pre-commencement conditions, utility connections – the list goes on:  one false summit after another with each getting more difficult to tackle.

“I am immensely proud of this industry which is one of the most resilient in Scotland, having survived the worst recession in living memory. For those of us still here, we have emerged stronger, more passionate and more determined to succeed than ever before.

“And this makes the challenges we face – this mountain we have to climb - all the more frustrating, particularly when you consider our importance to both the economy and the Scottish Government’s housing delivery programme.”

Recognising the achievement of member companies Mactaggart & Mickel, Cruden and CCG in receiving the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development for the 2014 Commonwealth Games Athletes’ Village, she added: “I wish all developments were treated by our politicians in the same way.

“We all know this wasn’t your average site – there was no way that this project was going to be allowed to be delayed.  But it is a great demonstration of what can be achieved when public and private sectors work together to achieve a successful outcome.

“If Scotland is ever going to solve its housing crisis, every development needs to be given the same level of support and commitment.”

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