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Excess of 400,000 Homes With Permission

by Paul Addison on March 2, 2018 No comments

450,000 homes with planning permission are waiting to be built in England and Wales, per research conducted by the Local Government Association (LGA).

On behalf of the LGA, Glenigan, a construction data analysts conducted the research, (considering financial years 2015/16 and 2016/17.)

Data is acquired from Glenigan’s database of construction projects for the analysis.

A 16% increase in the backlog over the last year is implied in the data.

The number of unimplemented planning permissions in England and Wales in 2015/16 was 365,146, and 423,544 in 2016/17.

Additionally, the research indicates that it is taking longer for developers to build new homes.

It takes an average of 40 months for schemes to travel from approval to completion, per the LGA.

Paralleled to 20134/14, this is an increase of 8 months.

For the LGA, the planning system “is not a barrier to building”.

90% of planning applications are being approved by councils, with 321,202 in 2016/17, paralleled with 204,989 in 2015/16.

The LGA has stated that the analysis has highlighted how important it is for councils to have the control to act on undeveloped land that has planning permission, as well as councils being able to charge developers full council tax for the failure to build any developments at which the original planning permission expires.

A housing spokesperson for the LGA, Martin Tett has said the following:

“These figures prove that the planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding. In fact the opposite is true. 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 practicality of the LGA’s proposals was doubted by Jason Lowes, a partner in the planning team at Rapleys saying;

“Given the costs involved in securing a planning permission, it is just not credible to imagine that developers would then sit twiddling their thumbs once permission is actually granted – however, that seems to be the starting assumption of the LGAs position.” 

Lowes continued, saying that the LGA’s plans would require a;

“quantum leap forward in terms of skills, funding and strategy.”

“It could open up a number of unintended consequences; for instance, rather than encouraging the implementation of development, it might discourage developers/landowners from seeking planning permission in the first place, particularly on marginal sites.”

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Paul AddisonExcess of 400,000 Homes With Permission

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