Here’s hoping that Grant Shapps found a bit more to do in the Netherlands on Monday than enthuse about self-build and get Kevin McCloud’s autograph.
The housing minister and the Grand Designs presenter were part of a UK housing delegation visiting Europe’s largest self-build project at Almere. There was also an event at the British Embassy aimed at boosting trade and business links.
They were clearly impressed by what’s happening and with good reason. There are more than 800 homes at Almere that people have built for around €50,000 less than the same property would cost in the commercial sector. Imagine something similar in Britain backed with planning reforms and help with finance and what Shapps is saying about the sector doubling in size starts to make sense (even if I wish he wouldn’t keep repeating the same announcements). If, as the minister told us two weeks ago, the future’s bright, it seems the future is orange too.