Christian Faes

LendInvest challenges government to back SME builders

LendInvest has hosted a cross-party roundtable at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester to discuss a package of support for property-based SMEs.

Christian Faes, co-founder and CEO of LendInvest (pictured above), was joined by a number of housing and business policy experts from across the UK.

The discussion panel included:

  • Chris Philp MP (a member of the chancellor’s Treasury team)
  • Mary Robinson MP (a member of the CLG select committee)
  • Richard Bacon MP and Peter Aldous MP (two backbench Conservative MPs with interests in housing)
  • Richard Blakeway (the former deputy mayor of London for housing, and Homes and Communities Agency board member)
  • Tom Bloxham MBE and Marc Vlessing (CEOs of property development companies Urban Splash and Pocket Living respectively)
  • David Ellison (a Manchester-based Labour councillor).

Christian said: “There are five times fewer small-scale developers today than in the last housebuilding boom and not a single one of today’s top 10 housebuilders was created before 1990.

“There is a clear monopoly in the sector.

“What was clear from our discussion is that more must be done to level the playing field for property entrepreneurs so that they can do business with confidence.

“This means sweeping away barriers to finance and land for SMEs, as well as celebrating industry initiatives to improve skills in the sector.

“The cost of doing business must also be reduced.”

Mr Bacon added: “Politicians talk often about building more homes as if it were politicians who build them.

“Let’s stop focusing on targets and let the builders get on with it.

“The government’s role is to remove barriers, not add to them.”

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