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Fears for council house building

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Local authorities across England have axed plans to build almost 85,000 homes after house building targets were scrapped by the government, according to new research.

Councils in the south west have ditched plans for 59,750 new builds, those in the east have abandoned proposals for 20,540 and south east local authorities have scrapped 1,860 home projects, Tetlow King Planning found.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wrote to local authorities after the election reaffirming a commitment to do away with the targets by abolishing regional spatial strategies, and last month he revoked the strategies.

The National Housing Federation has warned that the number of houses built in England in 2010-11 could be less than 100,000. The 2009-10 figure of 123,000 new builds was the lowest since 1923.

NHF chief executive David Orr said: “With more than 4.5 million people on waiting lists and 2.5 million people in overcrowded conditions, this is no time to downgrade the need for new homes.”

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