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Construction 'is a key driver of the economy'

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has argued a vibrant and strong construction industry is integral to the smooth running of the national economy.

Steve Turner, head of communications at the HBF, said construction is one of the largest employers in the UK and as such, it plays a key role in providing support for the economy.

At present, there is a great need for more homes across the country as a result of the ongoing housing crisis and therefore, should the government provide greater support to build more properties, this will have the dual benefits of supporting the economy and tackling one of the biggest social issues of today.

Mr Turner commented: "Every home built creates 1.5 direct jobs plus twice that number in the supply chain, so there is a clear positive from building these much-needed homes economically."

As a result, the government should be doing all it can to promote the interests of UK construction, as these goals are integrally linked to a positive recovery for the nation as a whole.

Mr Turner also recently argued that prospective new buyers entering the UK property market are increasingly attracted to new-build homes.

He claimed this boils down to the fact that people today more often than not simply want to move into a property and have everything ready and waiting for them.

Indeed, today's first-time buyers do not want to be taking on large-scale energy efficiency projects or renovations and it is for this reason that more land should be made available developers to help meet this growing call for new-build homes, he said.

According to figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government, in the period from October to December 2011, authorities undertaking district-level planning in England received 111,500 applications for planning permission - an increase of one per cent compared with the corresponding quarter in 2010.

Overall, 88,700 permissions were granted - a small decrease compared to the same quarter in 2010. 

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