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Drought of housebuilding architects endangers government plans

A severe shortage of architects in the housebuilding industry could undermine the government's ambitious plans for the construction of new homes, a new report has claimed.

The lack of trained architects, in parallel with a lack of quantity surveyors and town planners, in this sector is endangering the ODPM's proposals for new communities in the South East.

These concerns can be found in a new Home Builders Federation-commissioned report, entitled The labour needs of extra housing output: Can the housebuilding industry cope?, by Reading University don Michael Ball.

The document - which followed the questioning of 20 of the top housebuilding firms - claims that it is the lack of professional skills that will undermine the government's plans more seriously than shortages in trades such as bricklaying.

It sets out the skills which are in shortest supply; and architecture comes a close third, just behind the QSs and planners.

However, the research also concluded that the biggest constraint on the housebuilding programme set out by the government was the failure of the planning regime to respond to the need for new homes.

by Ed Dorrell

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