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Permitted development rights changes down despite increase in extra homes

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There was a two per cent increase in the number extra homes built and created last year, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government statistics show.

The 222,190 net additions in 2017-18 resulted from 195,290 new build homes, and 29,720 gains from non-domestic use to residential use.

additional homes

additional homes

Source: Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

additional homes

Of the changes of use, 13,526 units were through permitted development rights where full planning permission was not required. These comprised 11,555 additional dwellings from former offices, 743 from agricultural buildings, 218 from storage buildings, 110 from light industrial buildings and 900 from other non-domestic buildings.

Overall, the number of additional homes created by a change of use fell by 20% (7,470 homes) on 2016-17. Of those specifically under permitted development rights, the number was down 28% from 18,887 units in 2016-17 to 13,526 in 2017-18. This is despite the fact permitted development rights were amended to make it easier to convert buildings to residential use.

housing supply components

housing supply components

Source: Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

In total the 222,190 net additions in 2017-18 is just below the peak of the 223,530 new homes created in 2007-08. The lowest point was in 2012-13 when just 124,720 new homes were created. The government has set a target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the middle of the next decade. 

In addition to new builds and changes of use, there were also 4,550 additions last year from conversions between houses and flats, and 680 other gains from caravans and house boats, among other forms of accommodation, offset by 8,050 demolitions.

Housing and communities secretary James Brokenshire said: “Today’s figures are great news and show another yearly increase in the number of new homes delivered, but we are determined to do more to keep us on track to deliver the homes communities need.

“That’s why we have set out an ambitious package of measures to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. This includes over £44 billion investment, rewriting the planning rules and scrapping the borrowing cap so councils can deliver a new generation of council housing.”

Chartered Institute of Housing head of policy and external affairs Melanie Rees said: “While it’s encouraging to see another increase in the number of new homes, the reality is we are still a long way short of where we need to be. Millions of people are struggling to access a decent home at a price they can afford – we know we need more than 300,000 new homes a year to address the current chronic shortage and meet future demand.

“But it’s not just a numbers game – we need to make sure we are building the right homes, in the right places, for the right prices. For many people on lower incomes, the only truly affordable option is social rent. It is absolutely crucial that the government supports councils and housing associations to build more homes for social rent.”

The net additional dwelling figures, published today, are based on local authority estimates of gains and losses of during each year.

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