Demand for housing

A government paper released earlier this year announced that over 143,500 new build homes were started in the 2015 December quarter. That figure is a 23% increase on the same period in 2014 and staggeringly, a 91% increase on the pre-2009 ‘slump’. These are the highest numbers since 2008 yet the government’s Housing and Planning Bill has outlined its ambition to build a million more homes. Yet, it is not enough.

What’s the delay?

With every new housing development, there are the usual project delays to be faced, including navigation of the planning system, shortages of skills and materials etc. Added to this, with over 700,000 new homes started since April 2010, the increase in demand has utilities companies struggling to keep up. How many projects grind to a halt while waiting for provision of heat, water and other utilities?

Currently, around 142,000 homes are being built in the UK per year, often in brownfield sites to preserve and protect the Green Belt, these developments are being added to existing urban developments. The utility infrastructures are often stretched to capacity and unable to cope with additional demand. Developers assume existing infrastructure can be extended but utility companies aren’t informed of the plans for development until applications are logged. By then, it is impossible to plan and install optimal upgrades to the network.

Once they are made aware of the development, it may be some time before overstretched utility companies can provide quotes, plans and then installation of the necessary infrastructure. The lack of communication at the beginning leads to significant delays and a costlier project for developers. Developers then have the headache of sourcing and organising major off site reinforcements resulting in significant delays to the project and escalating costs. This system is more complex, inadequate, takes longer to achieve and incurs greater costs.

Aims for future improvement

A drastic change of approach is needed. The perfect, and most cost-effective outcome would be for developers to work collaboratively with the utilities and utilities to work together. This would ensure the ideal utility infrastructure is in the correct place early in the development with minimal costs. In most cases, we have a long way to go before this happens, in the meantime, development is on the increase.

See our summary diagram below, more detail is available in this government report.

Utilities and Developer Diagram


Avoid unnecessary delays to project completion

Ideal Heat Solutions can provide a temporary plant room and power source to allow you to commission and hand over the plots, avoiding delays to schedule. We can supply and install temporary heating plant rooms from our wide range of modern, reliable boilers. The installed boiler will supply heating and hot water to the development for as long as you need it. There will be no need to use existing infrastructure and no delays while waiting for utility providers to provide permanent infrastructure; business can continue smoothly allowing completion of your development.

Call our team now for expert advice 01622 632 918