From the budget announced yesterday, it has been made clear that solving the housing crisis is at the top of the Government’s agenda. With the announcement to build 300,000 net new homes a year on average by the mid-2020s. This construction target will then bring its own challenges and opportunities for the logistics industry.
The occupiers of the new homes will then need to be fed and clothed, and as a part of this necessary requirement, the consumers will no doubt expect to receive the same delivery options available across the country, such as next day delivery, and delivery within 24hours. This means that it is essential for the freight and logistics industry to be involved in the plans for new homes.
The growth in houses increases the pool of consumers for the logistics to make the most of. However, the Government needs to factor in the need for land to be assigned to the construction of logistics hubs alongside the land selected for housing. These new hubs will be vital for serving new consumer communities. To this end the UKWA have praised the Chancellor and his budget for announcing several measures that would be beneficial for the speeding up of the planning process and a reduction in the practice of ‘land-banking’ which has been a central challenge for locating suitable warehousing property across the UK.
The UKWA has already been working to assist with the creation of available development land as well as fit-for-purpose warehousing space in all cities, and bring the necessity of these spaces to the Government’s attention. The Association has collected evidence that highlights a range of potential negative impacts and possible crisis if this issue is not addressed.
Overall the UKWA has said that the budget held few surprises for the logistics sector and, and even though the trade association felt that they would have preferred to hear the Chancellor cut duty of fuel, the announcement of the duty rise cancellation has been received positively.