The continued uncertainty caused by the Government’s approach to Brexit continues to impact many different parts of our economy, despite the UK having already left the trading bloc. This uncertainty contributed to the construction sector dipping nationally during 2018 and output remains below pre-pandemic levels. The industry itself has regularly raised concerns about continued uncertainties, not least the lack of clarity about future arrangements for product standardisation, import tariffs, and migrant labour.
Completions are a challenge for cities across the country, including Bristol, with agreed projects not always getting started straight away. Figures being published today will confirm the impact of not one but two delayed exits from the European Union last year. Despite continued uncertainty about the future relationship between the UK and our nearest neighbours, Bristolians and builders know that our administration remains completely committed to tackling the city’s housing crisis.
We have worked collaboratively with tenants and developers to agree the need for new homes – built and managed in the right way. The number of planning permissions has continued to increase, with nearly 1,700 more dwellings granted planning permission by the Council or approved subject to s106 agreement as of 31 March 2020 compared to the year before. And our pipeline of 2,500 new council homes will only add to some 9,000 new homes built in Bristol since 2016.
While the pandemic has also clearly had an impact on construction, if strategy and investment from national Government matches our city’s ambition then there is no doubt that – brick-by-brick, house-by-house, and street-by-street – we can rebuild a better Bristol where nobody is left behind.