The problems of UK house building and prices are a result of government policy

This morning has brought news from the UK government on an area which is regularly reported as being in crisis ( housing supply) which brings us to a related area which has been in recession since the early part of last year ( construction). From the BBC.

Construction firms that have been slow to build new homes could be refused planning permission in future under a shake-up to be unveiled by Theresa May.

The PM will tell developers to “step up and do their bit”, warning that sitting on land as its value rises is not on at a time of chronic housing need.

There are various issues here as a fair bit of this is vague such a “slow to build” and doing your bit may be far from sufficient incentive to house builders who in some cases have been doing rather well.

Bonuses in the construction sector have been under the spotlight since Persimmon announced last year that 140 staff would share a bonus pool of £500m and that its chief executive was in line for a pay-out of £110m, a figure that has since been reduced by £25m following an outcry among investors

As an aside if £110 million is so wrong I find it fascinating that £85 million is apparently okay! Still at least something was done. As to the concept of housing need the Joseph Rowntree Foundation has crunched some numbers.

Independent analysis shows that an average of 78,000 additional affordable homes (a mix of low-cost rent and shared ownership) are required in England each year between 2011 and 2031. This level of supply is required to meet newly-arising need and demand.


Delivery has been falling short. On average 47,520 additional affordable homes have been provided in England each year since 2011, leading to a cumulative shortfall of 182,880 homes over the last six years. A step change is needed to boost supply of affordable homes by at least 30,000 more a year.

That seems a lot lower than what we are usually told which reminds us that such numbers are open to more than a little doubt and speculation. This poses a problem for a government increasingly heading down the central planning road.

Let me add another issue which is that a factor often ignored is that it matters where you build the houses as well as how many. This often seems to be ignored as for example once you think like that an arrow points at London and the South East. But you cannot just build anything as the current travails only a mile or two away from me at Nine Elms are proving.

The economic depression

There are quite a few problems for economics 101 in the current situation. Firstly you might think that higher house prices would quite quickly generate more supply but it would not appear so. Also the housing industry was supposed to respond to monetary policy and as we find ourselves after a cut and a rise back at the emergency Bank Rate of 0.5% there is much to mull and that is before we factor in the £435 billion of Bank of England QE.

Yet house building responded little to this as if we set 2015 as 100 we get some interesting numbers. The pre credit crunch peak was 2006 and 2007 which were both in the 95s. The scale of the initial hit is shown by the fact that 2009 was 55.4 showing a big hit and then crucially very little recovery as the number oscillated around 70 for the next three years. Along the way many smaller building firms went to the wall as our supply capacity fell and I wonder if that was a much larger factor than often realised. It is hard not to wonder if some support for smaller house builders might have protected us from the need for much larger support measures later. This meant that this sector clearly had an economic depression.

The official response

This provides quite a lot of food for thought for the central planners in Downing Street and Threadneedle Street because in response to the numbers above we saw a two-pronged strategy. In the summer of 2012 the Bank of England deployed the Funding for Lending Scheme which reduced mortgage rates quite quickly by around 1% ( and later by up to 2% according to its research) and made sure the banks had plenty of cash to lend. Then in March 2013 the Guardian reported on this.

In his budget speech, George Osbornelaunched Help to Buy…………This £3.5bn scheme will run for three years from 1 April and help up to 74,000 buyers, as well as providing a boost to the construction sector, said the Treasury.

This saw the UK establishment put the pedal to the metal in this area but the most recommended reply was already on this case.

Another tax-payer funded scheme to prop up house prices. Has it never crossed Osborne’s mind that if people are not able to afford a house on the basis of prudent lending criteria, house prices might be too high and should come down? ( ReaderCmt ).

There was a clear side effect to this as the tweet below highlights.

As you can see the clear effect here was on profits for house builders which surged and financed the payment of extraordinary bonuses for those at the top. This leaves us wondering if the house builders were happy counting their cash and in no great rush to expand supply as they were doing nicely anyway. How much of the effort simply went straight to the bonuses we looked at above?

House Prices

We know that these measures boosted house prices as according to the official series the price of the average house rose from £167,682 in February of 2013 to £226,756 last December. This provided its own problem however because real wages have in fact failed to recover to pre credit crunch peaks so houses became much more expensive relative to them. Yes the wheels of affordability were oiled by ever lower mortgage rates but at these prices demand for house purchase was always likely to dip which puts a brake on supply.

It is however nice to see the Joseph Rowntree Foundation implictly agreeing with my argument that house prices should be in the main measure of inflation.

Real income growth among the bottom fifth of the population in recent years is mostly wiped out once housing costs are considered, with consequences for the living standards of those on low incomes.


If we look at recent years we see that economic policy in the UK was based on the housing market. It was a type of credit easing and the consequences were higher house prices with large and what can only be called excess profits for the main house builders. No doubt some economic activity was generated but those looking to get a foothold in the market have been hit by high inflation when real wages have fallen. On that basis this is pretty much breathtaking.  The quotes below are from the BBC.

Young people without family wealth are “right to be angry” at not being able to buy a home, Theresa May has said.

Announcing reforms to planning rules, the PM said home ownership was largely unaffordable to those without the support of “the bank of mum and dad”.

This disparity was entrenching social inequality and “exacerbating divisions between generations”, she said.

It is of course true but it is a clear consequence of the policies pursued by what is now her government but before one in which she was Home Secretary. It came on top of house price friendly policies from preceding governments also.  Anyway the speech shows a complete lack of grasp of how the private-sector operates.

Mrs May criticised bonuses which are “based not on the number of homes they build but on their profits or share price”.

Another way of writing the quotes below would say you can only afford the new higher prices if someone who has already benefited helps you.

“The result is a vicious circle from which most people can only escape with help from the bank of mum and dad.

“If you’re not lucky enough to have such support, the door to home ownership is all too often locked and barred.”

That in essence the problem in the central planning approach as the initial problem is the apparent failure to grasp not only reality but their own role in the problem. I fear more central planning is unlikely to help as so far what has been called help has in fact mostly hindered.

Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that house building had responded in 2017 as according to the official numbers it was 20% higher than in 2015.




46 thoughts on “The problems of UK house building and prices are a result of government policy

  1. Shaun, a topical article today. I was listening to Radio 4 whilst driving to work on the M4 tbis morning ( dodging potholes, avoiding m-way juntions queues which spread back out on to the 3 lane highway.
    The commentator told us listeners that MayBot herself had been acting Nimby in her own constituency, blocking greenfield developments, the housing minister being interviewed spouted guff about environmental reasons.

    So as you suggest this is an active Govt policy and corncerns are just crocodile tears… talking of crocodiles – Zimbabwe were also promoting commerce on that same show and I thought, yes these days theres not much difference between the two states.

    Cheers Paul

    • Hi Paul

      So a case of do as I say and not as I do? One thing I didn’t say but we have looked at before is that governments on both sides of the political spectrum have under performed their promises and rhetoric.

      Those junctions are awkward and the signs do not always help. If you head south down the A3 the signs pretty much always say there is traffic on the carriageway at the M25 junction even if there isn’t which means of course they get ignored.

  2. I love the way they make out that building more £300,000 3 bed terraced houses will make them more affordable.

    What they are saying is that the people who jump in now to buy the extra 75000 houses a year will see the price go down should builders build more.

    But that’s OK as the Tory party have made sure the taxpayer will take the hit for this via Help To Sell.

    The truly are the most deceiftful and financially illiterate govt. in my lifetime, an achievement which Brown looked to have had in the bag by destroying the economy in a mere 10 years.

    I always thought the MSM and govt avoided meaningful discussion and immigration, but thats nothing compared to the outright refusal to raise the facts such as cheap loose lending and help to buy as to why we’re in the current predicament.

    Let the people buy plots for £34,000 like Persimmons and you’ll see houses get build right away and the Tory created housing crisis over with in a flash, but that’d never happen as its free marketeering something the Tory party would never let happen.

    • You try finding a plot! There is no conspiracy to prevent anyone from buying a plot and building on it but you have to be prepared to take a long term view if you want to do this the way house builders do. I have a friend who started out as a two man team building garden walls and patios, moved on to house extensions, went to work for one of the big house building companies and then set up on his own. He has been enormously successful and is now quite wealthy and I have discussed the housing market with him on a number of occasions. The way the big guys work is to buy agricultural land in an area where development is likely at some point in the future. They apply for planning which is usually denied however they know that eventually pressure will be brought on local councils to provide more housing and in the long term their land will be approved for housing. Any one can do it. There’s no cabal preventing any one of us from following suit but you have to buy for the long term. This is how they establish land banks.
      Around here the medium sized developers snap up smaller plots that come available and work very closely with estate agents and planners to get in first.
      The government of the day has very little to do with this and local county councils are much more influential when it comes to housebuilding. I have been involved with our local county council in their long term planning strategy and it is they, not central government, who influence things. Very little changes, be it conservatives, labour or coalition government in power

      • If its such a great system for small builders, why have completions by small builders fallen off a cliff in the last decade and why is there limited competition for the obscene profits the big builders are making which would happen in a capitalist free market system.

        I’ve spent years looking for a plot for circa £100,000 within a 10 mile area of where i want to live due to schooling. There is nothing, such plots that did exist in 2010 now cost £150,000-200,000.

        Hhow long should one plan ahead to take a punt on a plot of land to raise a family, a decade?

        But yes there is nothing stopping me from doing what the big builders do apart from many millions to buy agriculture land, pay legal teams, councils etc..

        The only people looking to get into the housing game at the moment are pension funds, which says it all.

        Anyway in 2013 i found a plot as you say applied to the council to see if planning permission was possible, they said no. 2 years later a large developer buys the lot and hey presto they get planning permission.

        • A thought for you on the case of the large developer snapping the land up and getting planning permission… did you find out if the council (pension scheme) held shares with the large builder? Perhaps this is a potential reason why large builders (with shareholders) fare better than smaller?

  3. Hi Shaun
    I, like many others, have long been interested in
    the new build situation not least because of my granchildren’s
    If a planning application is made it seems to go along
    these lines;-
    !) Outline planning permission refused.
    2)Re-apply using the magic words “Affordable Housing” Probably refused.
    3)On appeal affordable housing will likely be granted.
    4)Once planning permission is granted, change plans back to larger properties.

    If anybody is in a position to gain from a land sale would you reap the
    benefit or be philanthropic?


    • The affordable housing isn’t affordable to anyone buying with wages, all it means is there is an alleged 20% discount on the rent so parasitic Housing Associations can pay their executives hundreds of thousand a year by extracting rent and create more non jobs in their organisations.

      Only way your grandkids will be able to buy a house and live a settled life to raise a family is if Corbyn wins, and in my opinion that’ll be down to his incompetence more than anything else.

  4. Hi Shaun

    In general i would question the “we need to build more” argument; see here:
    and here:

    There may be difficulties in particular areas as you suggest but that is not the argument that is used.

    Furthermore it would be interesting to look into a crystal ball over the next ten years because with Brexit will many of those EEs go home never to return as many already have? Will any supply problem be relieved by a reduction in demand?

    Also the housing market supply here is based on an oligopoly which wants high prices and short supply; they have no interest in increasing supply.

    Also the planning regulations are trotted out as a cause for concern but, to me, this is nonsense. The housebuilder’s want to build on areas like the green belt not to increase supply but to give them premium prices.

    Government policies are an utter disgrace and are simply throwing petrol onto the fire and have been for a number of years.

  5. just how are home prices going to fall to the levels needed by today’s youngsters?

    who also need to pay off student debt and save for a pitiful pension too ?

    It not as if any of the parties , left or right , can do anything , after all if housing gets cheaper the losses will break the Banks

    and that will never do …….

    and you know what will happen if we scrap the greenbelt , the big property companies will buy it all up and we’re back to where we started !

    We had a counter weight to the big housing companies – it was called council houses – set a ceiling on the cost of a home to the less well off . all but gone now , with the council houses all but in private hands .

    anyhow , nothing will be done , as nothing was done for the past 30-40 years .

    Unless you’ve got a wizard scheme to pump up housing ,….



    PS: have some popcorn – before thats pumped up too 🙂

    • Hi Forbin

      All the “Help” has done is make house prices ever higher and out of the reach of ever more. This of course makes the establishment even more fearful of any house price drop as we seem ever more locked onto the wrong course.

  6. Hi Shaun

    Great article as always. The housebuilders have got the government wrapped around their greasy fingers. During the last recession they stopped building houses and sat on their landbanks. Can you imagine any other industry doing this?

    Land with planning permission should be taxed as an asset if not used within x years. I see that LVT is gaining traction in the press at the weekend. Bring it on. LVT at 0.5% and being increased on empty properties. And if the poor ole widow in her mansion crops up, it can offset against inheritance.

      • Too add if QE/ZIRP didnt happen prices would have crashed then a few years later people would have been buying with wages to fund a mortgage relative to wages. Brown destroyed the housing market without allowing price discovery. This lot have made it many times worse by putting down £200,000 of taxpayers money on a £600,000 London flat, where the banks don’t take the hit for the first 45% drop in price.

    • and people like me who’ve left their home empty to care for their elderly parents/relatives and don’t fancy renting their home out to tenants who are likely to trash the place?

    There’s one these developments being built in Cheadle Hulme, not one mile away from where I’m typing right now, about 100 yards from the railway station. (Cars aren’t going electric, they’re being banned).
    This, and only this, type of housing is to be affordable to young people.
    It isn’t a generational battle, it’s about the NWO.

    • Hi therrawbuzzin

      That ultra compact housing is quite something and I have just been measuring it ( 200 square feet )out in my flat and feeling lucky. I remember noting how small properties looked when I worked in Tokyo and they were ahead of us but not necessarily in a good way.

  8. Some would say we don’t have a housing crisis but we have a burgeoning population crisis. We also see this in schools, roads, trains, surgeries etc. Loose money policies and having turned homeownership into an opportunity for rentierism is exacerbating the problems.

    • Maybe, but if Help to Buy and Funding for Lending didn’t happen in 2013 prices would have fallen off a cliff, imho they were about to.

      The opportunity to turn the UK into a rentiers paradise could have been ended by bringing in S24 instantly for all taxpayers/

      I’ve no doubt mass immigration plays some part in pushing up rent prices,but its minute in comparison to what predominantly indigenous Brits from the middle class have done to the housing market for their own financial gain.

      • Schrodinger’s Immigrant – much en vogue among Kippers on various news sites today – there he is, working on minimum pay and yet, driving up prices.

          • If you work for an already-settled relative, who will sign anything you like, as big as you want?
            If immigrants can’t afford housing, explain how white flight can possibly work.

      • I’d posit thats it the general ignorance of HMG

        immigration – yes – but if you know that xx amount are arriving – then plan to build for that many – never happens

        Also for all of us who are here – regardless of origin – wasn’t that long ago HMG had a ” surprise!” moment when they found they needed many more school places for under 5’s – DUH ! the birth figures 5 years ago would have sent a signal ?? ( I think Shaun mentioned this last year)

        apparently not.

        I don’t know why these things keep happening , from an engineering , trouble shooting back ground you ‘d have thought someone would be thinking ahead – and not whats next on the sweet trolley either……

        One final thing , we talk about the houses here, this is not just us , the USA and even now Sweden are pushing the housing increase button

        you’ve got to wonder why ………………..


  9. Be interesting to see how persimmon have had in terms of revenue via HTB?

    Great piece Shaun,always appreciate the erudite way you put the boot in to the political class blithely choosing to ignore the obvious.

    If they cut all the artificial support for banks,prices would drop,period.

    Dare I even mention unlimited immigration as a problem that they also blindly ignore.

      • There are many amongst us who are more than pleased with Carneys works as he has given them vast sums of free money.

        Any movement from the status quo where the Torys/BOE hand them other peoples money pushes them to shout socialist!

  10. Saw on a homeless charity website that 4,000 people live ‘rough’ in the UK and that means sleeping out in the open at night. Seems low to me.

    It is a very small percentage though. So most of the population sleeps under a roof at night and therefore there is not a housing shortage.

    Many of the people under a roof would rather be under a different roof though and not packed so tight. (Ask the people in the slums of Rio, Mumbai or Mogadishu about their aspirations.) I can think of many roofs I would rather be under!

    So is it about building the roofs that people want to live under and not those that maximise profit for a housebuilder. Suppose that were to happen then people will move out from under one roof and go under another. If they are built and people cannot afford to live under them then the price will (eventually) fall? There will then be a lot of other roofs that are now not much in demand and surely their price will fall as well?

    Falling house prices…!

    So is there a lot of bluff and bluster about house building in the hope that it does not actually happen? A government can rely on its own natural incompetence for it to fail to build enough roofs of the right type?

    Perhaps the rapid increase in immunity to antibiotics by bacteria will halve the population (more or less) overnight then everyone will be able to live under a roof that they want to live under! Solve pension fund deficits as well.

    • hi chris ,

      to answer some of your questions:-

      1, Falling house prices…! <<< NOT allowed – the BANKs will go bust and they are the economy

      2, So is there a lot of bluff and bluster about house building in the hope that it does not actually happen?


      3, A government can rely on its own natural incompetence for it to fail to build enough roofs of the right type?

      Of any type if they can get away with it – worked well for at least the past 25 years regardless of who's in from the Uni-party.

      I'm not sure even a moderate population decrease can be coped with with the current economic paradigm , its growth or die , after all , if more land is needed – we'll make more or substitute something else ….. ( yes I know about Holland )

      going to be "fun"


  11. There is no shortage of housing. It’s nonsense; peddled to deflect from the reality of a market where the average price of a house in London is 20-30 times median income. What we’re actually dealing with is a demand side problem caused by UK mortgage regulators and the bank of England since the late 90s.

    The UK housing market is a 20 year bubble that was initially maintained by reducing lending, standards, pumping the market, buy to let and subsequently by lowering interest rates to 0.5% and keeping them there.

    Short sighted greed, so it’s now impossible for an average person to ever own a house unless they inherit. Great meritocratic society! People wonder why Comrad Corbyn is so popular with youth?

    If rates ever return to the 5-10% levels seen in the 80s and 90s the market will collapse 50-70% and the “shortage of supply” will magically disappear.

    • Too true, there are many properties off the market as simply great financial investments. The next Govt will introduce some ownership and residence tests and then we will see if there is a shortage.

  12. Hi Shaun, I note that you are very silent on the provision of Social Housing which plays a huge part in the undersupply of housing. Take London as an example, the population boomed as did job vacancies but not a thought was given to where these people would live. As social housing was sold off it wasn’t replaced because it was far more profitable to build more expensive homes.

    This is what happens when free market dogma replaces what should be in the state’s control, our planning system is not so much a shambles as non-existent.

    • Hi bill40

      That’s a fair point but I did cover a lot of ground. That world has changed so much as when I was younger my maternal grandparents had a council flat near Tower Bridge. My parents rented a flat on Camberwell New Road and my paternal grandmother saved up her money and eventually bought the house across the road from that. It is unthinkable now that someone could make the money to buy such a place from a combination of letting rooms out and working in shops isn’t it? But fair play to her and of course financially it was quite a success.

  13. There are times I feel myself back in 1987 – i was a young guy working for good money in London with many of the best bits of my life still to come! I waned then about Lawson’s cheap money policy and the housing bubble it was inflating. My contemporaries ran like lemmings to buy “before prices moved out of reach”. Mortgages could be had for 5-6x salary and prices would never drop. Of course, 1992 brought that drop and Major’s response? “We have to get the housing market moving” (with that idiotic Stamp Duty holiday). It has just been rinse and repeat ever since and so, the problems have built up.

    It has been good to see the Kippers all out and about blaming immigrants (Hitler was right about that in 1927), yet none can explain to me why prices fell in 1992 and 2009 and indeed, are showing the first signs of dropping now, when there has been no mass emigration. Indeed, those same people have shown how this monumental policy failure has spilled out elsewhere. If I were to take my MBA now by DL, it would cost about £11K with about £14K for my time priced at minimum wage rates. It would apparently take another ten years to make £50K on which i would pay tax and NI plus another 7-8 to recover the costs (allowing for tax and fiddled inflation). It makes me more productive. I don’t have to set out the alternative by putting that cash into a bigger pile of unproductive bricks, especially where costs of borrowing are included (but that got me fired by Barclays!). For those with mortgages, it has of course reduced their capacity to consume and reduced growth to almost nil since 2007, if we ignore the effects of the growing population on GDP and focus on GDP per head. Now, it has spilled over into social policy – the Tories took a big hit in the last election after suggesting social care costs take the house price into account – the middle classes took umbrage at the thought and social care costs are now quietly creeping on to all our Council Tax bills (again paid from income), so that some rellie, who pops round to see granny once a fortnight can inherit the lot (think about the Inheritance Tax arguments in 07) without paying anything.

    It will take one of two things to solve this – a big economic crash or a politician with the will to face down the idle middle classes. I cannot see the second.

  14. To understand the prevailing opinion amongst our monetary masters and our politicos, one just has to cast one’s mind back to Prescott’s attempt to bulldoze our way to wealth with the ‘Pathfinder’ initiative. Their analysis was that ‘cheap housing’ wasn’t getting enough ‘credit into the economy’ in certain areas of the country, so they started bulldozing good homes.

    This is not too dissimilar to the analysis that eventually led to the US subprime crisis and the policy response to poverty in Detroit.

    If these destructive policies are necessary, then have they diagnosed the problem correctly? There is absolutely no such thing as the ‘north is in the wrong place’ (how did Seattle become so successful with the Pacific on one side and a vast empty hinterland on the other).

    We can add that London centric phrase to such other pearls as: ‘we can’t manufacture any more’ (ignoring Germany) and ‘if you build roads they simply fill up’ (so don’t bother) and one we’ve just had wrt the Beast from the East….’there’s no point preparing for bad weather as we don’t have it very often’ (forgetting it happens with predicatble regularity every winter).

    Anyone would think that an “I’m Alright Jack” mentality should not in fact be attributed to the unions and working classes as in the film of the same name, but to those at the other end of society.

    • Hi hotairmail

      If I knew about the pathfinder initiative I had forgotten it.Only politicians can think bulldozing good homes is any sort of plan. The brainwave I recall from him was his enthusiasm for building on floodplains.I thought of that quite a bit when we had those floods a couple of years or so ago.

      As to Seattle its success is easily explained, it was/is the home of Fraser Crane 🙂

    • Hi Peter

      Some years back my father wanted to build a house but the problem was getting the land which proved impossible. You need also to be able to navigate the various planning permission committees. The big firms seem to do this with aplomb as back in the day my brothers school was redeveloped for housing with the quid pro quo being that the community would get a swimming pool. My brother is now middle aged but there is still no swimming pool.

  15. Another blog on the housing market produces masses of responses with a great deal of emotion and vitriol, politicians Labour and Conservative – take note! This is a pressure cooker waiting to explode!

    Please don’t blame the hopeless Theresa May for her recent incompetent, pathetic bleatings on the housing market, this boil has been festering on the side of the Uk economy for the last sixty years, and every government since has used it as a bribe to the electorate to buy votes, resulting in a disaster of epic proportions that threatens to de-stabilise the entire economy(what’s left of it) as a result of the distortions that have, over the decades of monetary and fiscal policy, supported the market and prevent prices from falling.

    The electorate carry as much of the blame as the government, as they have always wanted it both ways, ever rising house prices AND affordability for their children(the obvious incompatibility of the two scenarios being lost on the general populace). The middle class voter on the edge of town estate has also wanted his/her cake and eat it, in that they want the government to stimulate or allow new building(but not have a drop in THEIR house price as a result), and also do not want it built on “greenbelt land”(their neighbouring fields) – so where exactly then would be considered acceptable to those voters???

    The current government, have set out a raft of policies that have resulted in ballooning profits for housebuilders. Curiously(or not) the incentives and subsidies have been exclusively for new homes, one might reasonably ask why a government would restrict these incentives to just new houses and not all properties, (first time buyers usually buy run down “doer uppers”), but of course they already have their answer: new builds create jobs – win win.

    A previous poster has asked why land banks are not taxed, good point, but as in Ireland, any attacks made by government on this sector, usually result in a “strike” by builders, who know that eventually, the enormous pressures building up in the market due to shortages result in the government capitulating to whatever demands the builders have for building new houses.

    Additionally, can anyone see any government standing up to these companies considering the financing of their product in a post industrial economy makes up such a large part of the UK banking sector profits?

    Of course, the Tory goverment doesn’t see its role in providing houses, it thinks the “free market”(DON’T LAUGH) should take care of itself and is the most efficient way of responding to demand – I would say we should let the free marlet do exactly that – stop QE and allow interest rates to rise to where they should be,tax land banks of the big housebuilders progressively, tax profits from housing at the same as share dealings or other capital gains(yes the main residence not just BTL) and have a 50% tax on BTL rental income, just for starters, many more options availabe to restore normality to a market that has, thanks to government interventions, gone completely out of control.

  16. The planning system is, to put it bluntly, corrupt. The planning officers know that when they leave the Council to go self employed they will get lucrative work from the big builders. No surprise that the big builders get the permissions they want and the small guys don’t….

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