More ‘planning approved’ homes not being built, says LGA

16 Feb 18

Over 423,000 homes are waiting to be built despite receiving planning permission, according to research commissioned by the Local Government Association.

The number of unbuilt homes with planning permission in England and Wales rose from 365,146 in 2015-16 to 423,544 in 2016-17, revealing a sluggish approach to new builds.

According to analysis conducted by industry experts Glenigan, projects now take an average of 40 months from the time they receive planning permission to when building work is completed, which is eight months longer than in 2013-14.

It should be made easier for councils compulsorily purchase land where homes remain unbuilt, the LGA said.

Councils should also be able to charge developers full council tax for unbuilt development from the point the original planning permission expires.

Martin Tett, the LGA’s 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.”

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

“We have no chance of housing supply meeting demand unless councils can get building again.”

An MHCLG spokesperson said: “Ministers have been clear government needs to play a more active, more muscular role ensuring homes get built now.

“We have also asked Sir Oliver Letwin to review how long it is taking to build new homes and his preliminary report will be ready in time for the spring statement next month.”

Did you enjoy this article?