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Geotechnics sector welcomes Budget housing commitment

Chancellor Philip Hammond commitment to supporting construction of 300,000 homes by 2020 in yesterday’s Budget has been welcomed by the ground engineering industry.

Bauer Technologies managing director Martin Blower said: “It’s positive that the chancellor has committed to house building and that should bring welcome support to companies geared to that market.

“It’s less positive that due to Brexit uncertainty he finds he is not able to target and invest in infrastructure projects, other than Hinckley and HS2, that our future prosperity will be built upon.”

British Drilling Association chair Anne Baxter added: “On the plus side the change to stamp duty and the compulsory purchase of land banked from developers should help to encourage private housing development and unlock land. If it comes to reality then a reduction in lengthy planning process would also assist”.

Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) also welcomed the government’s commitment to the £170M Construction Sector Deal and a pipeline supporting infrastructure and construction projects.

ICE director general Nick Baveystock commented: “The UK is a long way from having the modern infrastructure networks that are required by a world-leading economy. It is ranked 28th in the World Economic Forum’s ranking for infrastructure, a statistic that underlines how our roads, railways and airports lack the capacity the public needs at peak times. So we are delighted that the government is making such a strong commitment to transforming the country’s infrastructure.

“The construction sector deal is a clear commitment and the right way to go if we are to remain globally competitive. The devil will clearly be in the detail, but recognising that our economic future is based on world class cutting edge infrastructure is a huge step forward. As an industry we now need to step up to seize the opportunities the sector deal offers.”

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