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Letters / Unrealistically low budgets

Perceived local capacity constraints in the construction industry cannot be used as an excuse for these project delays.

SIC director proposes construction industry meeting as local capacity affects house building

The SIC development director has stated “that capacity constraint in the construction industry is actually stopping us building housing at the moment”. Th his is a sweeping statement and what evidence is there that this is indeed the case?

Over the past 10 years an average of 115 houses/year have been constructed in Shetland – around 70 of these homes are constructed each year by private individuals and developers.

The strategic housing investment plan requires (on average) 70 public sector houses/year to be constructed over the next five years – only 25 more houses/year than the Shetland construction industry has achieved over the past 10 years! – clearly capacity constraints are not the issue, and the Shetland construction industry is well known for its capability to rise to the challenge.

I would suggest the most probable barrier to getting these projects under way are down to contractual and commercial issues including an expectation for potential contractors to take on an unacceptably high level of risk and the unrealistically low budget of around £100,000 to deliver each new house unit.

Stewart Douglas

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