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Home building lags behind planning permission

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Just over half of planning permissions for new homes have been activated by builders, research has found.

Barbour ABI, which provides data on the construction industry, said its research had found that 238,000 homes received detailed planning permission in the UK in the year to August 2014, but work started on only 129,000 of them, or 54%.

Barbour ABI lead economist Michael Dall said in a statement: “These latest figures clearly indicate that more needs to be done to get work underway so that the overall number of new homes being built can continue to increase.”

London and south-east England accounted for 29% of residential planning permissions, while the lowest shares were 5% in north-east England and 3% in Wales.

A Home Builders Federation spokesman told LGC: “This isn’t comparing apples with apples.

“Some of those planning permissions are going to be part of large schemes that will take many years to build; you would not expect work to start on all of them in one year.”

The LGA said last year that some 400,000 homes had planning permissions but were not being built.

Communities secretary Eric Pickles has in the past attacked councils for being slow in giving planning permission for new homes.

He has controversially given himself powers to allow developers to take applications straight to the Planning Inspectorate, bypassing any council he judges too slow in making decisions.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Classic Piffles reacting to his own myths and prejudices about local government. He and the builders have been caught out by this piece of research. Are they waiting for the expected explosion in house prices which will far out pace the cost of building. In building social housing councils are able to dictate when properties get built.

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