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London has opportunity to boost significantly the supply of housing

There has been record number of planning applications to build new homes in London this year, giving the city a genuine opportunity to reverse decades of low housebuilding levels and meet its target of developing 50,000 new homes a year to help keep up with its growing population, new research shows.

Fresh analysis from the Fifty Thousand Homes campaign reveals that more than 42,000 planning applications for housing have been submitted in the first six months of 2017, up 38% on the average rate since 2010 and the highest number of applications over this time.

However, with more than a third of planning permissions falling by the wayside in 2016, London faces a huge challenge ahead to convert planning applications into new front doors opening.

Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of London First who launched the business-backed Fifty Thousand Homes campaign, said: “There is an appetite to build in London, but we need the Mayor, boroughs and developers to step up and make that ambition a reality.

“Nobody expects London’s housing crisis to be solved overnight, but 2017 is an opportunity for local authorities to grant more permissions than ever before and for record breaking levels of construction to begin. We must unlock the housebuilding hold ups that are forcing so many Londoners out of our capital.”

The analysis, developed by Grant Thornton UK LLP who are part of the Fifty Thousand Homes campaign, found that London is currently building less than half the number of homes it needs, with construction over a full year peaking at 23,913 in 2015.

But, with over 15,000 new homes already completed in 2017 and previous years seeing more homes completed in the second half of the year, London has an opportunity to deliver a bumper year for housebuilding, both in terms of permissions granted and new front doors opening.

Ian Tasker, director, Grant Thornton UK LLP, commented: “We know there is a desperate need to boost housing supply across the capital and our analysis allows us to better understand the areas that hold the greatest opportunity but also the greatest challenge.

“The uplift in the first half of 2017, in both applications and permissions, is encouraging but there is still more to be done.

“London’s status as a leading global city relies heavily on businesses being able to attract local and global talent and we need to find new ways of working collaboratively to tackle the ongoing housing pressures they face. We have the appetite, we now need to focus on how we convert this into homes.”

Year

Applications in H1 (Jan - Jun)

2010

                                                                                 11,603

2011

                                                                                25,972

2012

                                                                                 19,281

2013

                                                                                 29,399

2014

                                                                                22,235

2015

                                                                                 33,641

2016

                                                                                 39,801

2017

                                                                                42,353

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