“Today’s figures highlight the stop-and-start nature of UK construction over the last few years. There have of course been improvements, with annual housing starts in 2015 up 6 per cent year on year. However, in Q1 this year housing starts were 9 per cent lower in Q1 2016 compared to Q1 the previous year, and many difficulties remain in a range of areas. There have been several good initiatives such as ‘planning in principle’, but hitting housebuilding targets is a large-scale challenge and changes need to be much more radical, such as selectively opening up green belt land near existing infrastructure. A holistic approach is required. For example, even if planning permission was drastically overhauled, without significant imports Britain would still need to at least double brick production to build over 200,000 homes in a year. “While one million new homes by 2020 is achievable, innovation and a shakeup in housing policy is required in almost every stage of the process, and lenders in particular have a huge part to play by increasing access to finance to smaller developers, who often struggle to get projects green-lit without a funding agreement.” **Ends** For further enquiries, journalists can contact: Rachael Snelling, Aldermore Phone: 0208 1853 102 Email: Rachael.Snelling@aldermore.co.uk Johnathan Priestley, Cicero Group Phone: 0207 297 5971 Email: Johnathan.Priestley@cicero-group.com Notes to Editors: Aldermore Aldermore Group PLC is a specialist lender and savings bank offering straightforward products to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), homeowners and individuals, who we believe are often poorly- or under-served by the wider market. Aldermore has no branch network but serves customers and intermediary partners online, by phone and face to face through its network of regional offices located around the UK. Building on its core values of being reliable, expert, dynamic and straightforward, Aldermore aims to deliver banking as it should be. Established in 2009, Aldermore has grown significantly. At the end of March 2016, lending to customers stood at £6.5 billion and customer deposits totalled £6.2 billion. For more information, please visit www.aldermore.co.uk. Aldermore Bank PLC is an operating entity of Aldermore Group PLC. In March 2015, Aldermore Group PLC’s shares (ALD.L) listed on the Main Market of the London Stock Exchange. Aldermore Bank PLC is regulated by the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority and is registered under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.