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2 March 2012

New build planning permissions halve

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by Gill Montia

New build planning permissions halve

Planning applications for new housing developments in England have halved in four years, according to the Home Builders’ Federation (HBF).

New research commissioned by the HBF shows that in 2011, total permissions were at their lowest since 2006.

The 115,000 granted last year represent only half the number required to keep on top of rising household formation and in the final three months of 2011, approvals were granted for just 27,732 new homes.

The quarterly average for 2011 stood at 28,853 compared to 33,535 in 2010 and 53,116 in 2006.

The report states: “The social effects of continuing to undersupply homes are obvious: five million people languish on local authority waiting lists, millions more live in over-crowded and substandard accommodation, whilst first-time buyers have all but disappeared – further stagnating the housing market.”

The Federation reckons an additional 140,000 homes a year are needed to meet demand in England and makes the point that house building on this scale could create half a million jobs and boost the economy.

HBF executive chairman, Stewart Baseley, comments: “Government has recently unveiled some very positive measures aimed at boosting housing supply, particularly the NewBuy scheme, but they cannot succeed unless we have a truly pro-growth functioning planning system.”

Most importantly, the new system must provide enough viable land to build the number of homes the country needs.

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