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Planning consents fall short

The government has been accused of 'failing to put its money where its mouth is' when it comes to housing after the latest planning statistics revealed that growth in the approval rate of residential applications remained sluggish in the second quarter of the year.

The latest data from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) relating to planning application consents suggests that growth in the approval of residential applications will not be enough to enable the government to deliver anywhere near the 1 million new build homes pledged during the course of this parliament to help tackle a ‘decades-old deficit’.

There were 100,900 planning consents granted in Q2 2016, up 6% quarter-on-quarter, owed in part to a 7% q-o-q increase in the level of applications that planning authorities in England received, with 132,000 applications submitted in total.

According to DCLG, local planning authorities granted 22,000 fewer applications in the second quarter of the year, compared to Q2 2006. 

“These figures show the government is failing to put its money where its mouth is when it comes to housing. The sluggish growth in the approval of residential applications will not be enough to enable a million new homes to be built by 2020,” said, Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd. 

Bridges, like many property industry professionals, wants to see the chancellor do more to fix the housing crisis by supporting housebuilders in their efforts to step up supply, and that includes “additional help to unblock stalled sites” and the introduction of “incentives to build-out existing permissions”. 

Ultimately, the government needs to do more to remove serious barriers to growth for housebuilders to help alleviate the supply-demand imbalance that has pushed home prices higher across many parts of the country.

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