Local authorities are restricting the availability of affordable housing on the open market, according to Neil Fitzsimmons, chief executive of Redrow. Daily Telegraph. The Times. Financial Times

The mid-sized housebuilder said it welcomed prime minister Gordon Brown’s apparent focus on housebuilding, but reiterated that the planning regime continued to inhibit volume growth and its efforts to appeal to first-time buyers were being blocked by local council’s.

’Our Debut Homes are imaginative and innovative and specifically aimed at first-time buyers, as called for by the Office of Fair Trading,’ said Fitzsimmons.

’Local authorities, particularly in the south-east, have failed to embrace the concept because they do not fit in with planning guidance policies that say affordable homes should only be for rent or shared equity with registered landlords or housing associations.’

A strong second-half performance from mixed-use and regeneration activities enabled Redrow to meet expectations in the year to the end of June.

The housebuilder completed 4,823 new homes last year, an increase of 2% on the previous year, with an average selling price of £160,000.