Public policy and political donations
Regulation has an impact on our business and we think it is important to share our views with policy makers at the local, regional and national level.
This includes direct engagement such as responding to Government consultations, engagement with local and regional government through the planning process and engagement via our membership of trade associations.
We engage with local authorities, parish councils, Homes England, the Greater London Authority (GLA), regional government, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Nature England and other public sector organisations to understand their priorities and share our views.
Public policy work is carried out in a way that reflects our values and cultural principles and key policies such as our Business Conduct Policy. We strive for clear, open and accurate communication. It is our policy not to make donations to political parties or organisations.
As well as site-specific engagement, we participate in the development of strategic frameworks, Local Plans and Neighbourhood Plans, which consider broader development needs and enable local people to shape new developments in their area. This often includes working closely with local authorities to develop the local design code as part of the local development plan.
Recent public policy engagement
We engage with central and devolved Government on issues relating to planning and sustainability. Examples from 2022 include:
- Response to NPF4 (Scotland): We welcomed the emphasis the document has placed on tackling the climate emergency, supporting nature recovery and the concept of 20 minute neighbourhoods, but raised concerns over changes that could present a barrier to addressing housing need, including removal of the presumption in favour of sustainable development.
- OFWAT Price Review Consultation: We responded to this consultation supporting changes designed to deliver improved efficiencies and developer services. We emphasised the role of water authorities in helping to address nutrient neutrality challenges.
- Biodiversity Net Gain Regulations and Implementation, DEFRA: We responded to two consultations on biodiversity net gain. We supported the proposals in principle but urged the government to work with local authorities to bring forward strategies for biodiversity net gain credits and highlighted the need for improved support and training for councils on net gain. We also gave our view on the importance of allowing off-site measures where this increases the benefits for nature and benefits the viability of schemes and to ensure a fair approach to S73 applications and amendments to schemes.
- Compulsory Purchase Order Reforms, DLUCH: Whilst supportive of a more effective and efficient process, we did not support a number of proposals that did not appear to protect landowners’ property and constitutional rights. We recommended that such important changes must be considered via the legislative process.
- DLUHC Consultation – Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill, reforms to the national planning policy: The proposed NPPF changes include the relaxation of several key policy measures that were introduced to ensure up to date plans are put in place that meet critical demand for housing. We did not support the proposals and firmly believe that any changes must reinforce, rather than dilute, the Government’s objective of significantly boosting the supply of homes to safeguard the current and future needs of communities.
Industry association memberships
We engage with Government through our membership of industry organisations such as the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and the British Property Federation (BPF). Regional businesses are also members of trade associations, for example our Scottish businesses are members of Homes for Scotland.
We are members of five Homes England regional Delivery Partner Panels.