Planning permission for new homes increase

Planning permission for new homes increase

New home planning permissions are now the highest since 2008, according to the latest report from Glenigan and HBF.

Figures released in HBF and Glenigan’s latest Housing Pipeline report show that planning permission for 59,875 homes was granted in England during the third quarter of last year, up from 53,409 permissions in the corresponding quarter the previous year. The report shows that 242,819 permissions were granted in the 12 months to October. This is the highest ‘moving annual’ total since early 2008.

The latest figures show that there were over 181k new homes built in 2014/15 – up 22% on the previous year. This broadly equates to the volume of planning permissions recorded some two to three years ago.

However, the industry remains concerned that the ‘lag’ of turning permissions into homes is becoming lengthier. Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said; “The house building industry has delivered an unprecedented increase in build rates over the past two years. The largest companies have increased their output by around 50% with overall housing numbers now up to around 180,000 a year.

“The industry’s ability to increase output still further will largely be dictated by the rate at which planning permissions are granted. Whilst the overall increase in outline permissions is welcome, most of these still have to navigate the complexities of the planning system before they can be built. It is imperative we speed up the time it takes for applications to be processed to the point that builders can actually build if we are to deliver further increases in housing supply.

“Introducing competition into the planning process and finding a way to incentivise Local Authorities to deal with applications more quickly would be a welcome step in the right direction.”

Commenting on the figures, Glenigan’s Economics Director, Allan Wilén said, “Planning approvals strengthened in the third quarter, as private sector developers bring forward more and larger sites than a year ago. Glenigan expect the expanding development pipeline to feed through to a rise in project starts during the current year.”

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