Home scheme axing dismays building firm Redrow

Redrow directors say they feel they have been treated in a "shabby" way

A director of the largest house building company in Wales says he was shocked to learn a scheme to help homebuyers had been dropped.

Stuart Rowlands, managing director of Redrow South Wales, said builders were in support of the NewBuy scheme.

Welsh government ministers had said the housing industry had withdrawn support after similar, but separate, plans were announced by the UK government.

NewBuy would have enabled people to get high loan-to-value mortgages.

It would also have supported the building of 3,000 homes.

Housing Minister Carl Sargeant said that a UK government scheme involved less financial risk for housebuilders.

Start Quote

We want it on the 3rd of June as promised and I'm sure every developer in Wales will still want to support this scheme”

End Quote Stuart Rowlands Managing Director, Redrow South Wales

NewBuy had been promoted as a "major boost to the construction industry" in Wales promising "a positive impact on the housing market".

It had been due to start on 3 June, and would have been open to everyone buying newly built houses or flats worth up to £250,000 with a 5% deposit.

But Mr Sargeant told a committee of AMs he was given no advance notice of the UK scheme, Help to Buy, which had "pulled the carpet away" from his plans. He said he was left with no choice but to scrap them.

Speaking on BBC Radio Wales' Wales at Work programme Mr Rowlands said: "I was shocked and dismayed to hear the news.

"It certainly was a surprise to hear that the minister is using the reason that house builders and developers won't support the scheme.

"He hasn't been taking to Redrow certainly."

Incentives

Mr Rowlands said he had spoken to other developers and said they are "fully supportive" of the scheme.

"So where this mixed message is being fed through (from) I don't know and certainly talking to the Home Builders Federation (HBF), who manage the scheme, as far as we are all concerned it should be going ahead."

There was no reason for the scheme not to happen because of the UK initiative, he added.

"I think we'll take any incentive we can get as developers right now.

"It is true there's a new (UK) scheme promised from January next year, but right here, right now, we were promised the NewBuy Cymru scheme on 3 June and Redrow, like other developers, are geared up to that day."

The scheme comes at a "critical" time for homebuilders and as people are struggling to get on the housing ladder, he added.

"I know the HBF are keen to meet the minister ion the issue.

"My view is quite simple - bring it on.

"We want it on the 3rd of June as promised and I'm sure every developer in Wales will still want to support this scheme."

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