Belfast Telegraph

RICS calls on Executive to stimulate construction sector

By Paul Gosling

Northern Ireland is continuing to buck the trend of a UK recovery in the construction sector, being the only region in which there is an ongoing and substantial decline in activity.

The latest Construction Market Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) found that Northern Ireland remains the UK region with the largest number of construction sector chartered surveyors experiencing declining workloads, while workloads in London and the South East of England are now increasing.

All construction sub-sectors in Northern Ireland experienced a fall in activity during the three-month period, according to the study. Expectations for the construction sector in Northern Ireland remain negative, with predictions by surveyors of further falls in workloads, employment and profits.

RICS Northern Ireland construction spokesman Jim Sammon said: “We’re seeing no let-up in the recession in the local construction sector, as the continuing decline in public spending and the unavailability of finance to support construction projects continues.

“But whilst public money is tight, there are things that can be done to help create an enabling environment for the sector, which is key to Northern Ireland’s economic future.

“We would call for the fast-tracking of economically important planning applications, and the introduction of measures to raise additional revenue to help ensure money is available for capital spending. Joined-up working in government is also extremely important to ensure an efficient and prioritised investment strategy that delivers where and when it is needed.”

Belfast Telegraph

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