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423,000 homes with planning permission remain unbuilt

Recent research by the Local Government Association (LGA) has found that there are now 430,000 homes with planning permission that have not built out, an indicator that it is not the planning system that is preventing new homes from being built.

In its research, the LGA found that this backlog of homes waiting to be built had risen by 16% in the last year. In 2015/16, the total number of unimplemented planning permissions in England and Wales was estimated at 365,146, rising to 423,544 in 2016/17.

The research pointed to the fact that large developers are now taking far longer to build homes. In fact, the average build out time for schemes, from receiving planning permission to completion, has risen to 40 months, which is eight months longer than it took in 2013/2014.

The LGA says that the research indicates that Government will not reach its target of building 300,000 homes a year, the figure mentioned by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, back in October.

The LGA recommended that councils need new powers to act on unbuilt permissions, with easier compulsory purchase powers or the ability to charge full council tax to fund revenue.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Housing spokesman, said: “These figures prove that the planning system is not a barrier to house building. In fact the opposite is true. In the last year, councils and their communities granted twice as many planning permissions as the number of new homes that were completed.

“No-one can live in a planning permission. Councils need greater powers to act where housebuilding has stalled.

“To tackle the new homes backlog and to get the country building again, councils also need the freedom to borrow and invest in desperately-needed new homes, as recognised by the influential Treasury Select Committee last month.

“Our national housing shortage is one of the most pressing issues we face. While private developers have a key role to play in solving our housing crisis, they cannot meet the 300,000 housebuilding target set by the Government on their own. We have no chance of housing supply meeting demand unless councils can get building again.”

The research points to the need for the UK’s housing market to diversify, offering alternative routes to home ownership, and as part of this providing enough plots and support for community-led developments, such as cohousing, to give people real choice.

Comments  

 
#2 Antony Atkins 2018-03-02 15:42
This is another attempted power-grab by the LGA. There are myriad reasons for the delays, and the LGA has done nothing to investigate why; instead, it just seeks to grab the permissions for itself via penal taxation or compulsory purchase. What arrogance!

Could the delays possibly be to do with the onerous and time-consuming conditions and the excessive CIL, S106 and social housing costs being imposed by LGA members themselves on builders large and small?

Have LGA members ever approached any of the schemes that are not being built and asked "why" and "what can we do to help"? Why do they not set up development arms and offer to go into business *in cooperation* with schemes that may be delayed due to capacity or finance constraints, sharing in the profits to the benefit of local taxpayers?
 
 
#1 Philip Newbold 2018-03-01 19:59
This scandalous business of major housebuilders banking land and starving the market of supply of new homes in order to keep prices high for their wretched offerings is nothing new and it is not surprising either that successive Governments have been powerless to do anything about it. My current problem is with planners who are abusing NPPF Para 55 to prevent real sustainable houses being built in rural villages. Please go to http://www.aecb.net/passivhaus-planning-refusal/ for details of what misguided planners are doing to prevent passivhaus self-build homes from being built in what they term "isolated locations"
 

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