Published: 4th Sep 2020

More than a third (40%) of all homes granted planning permission between in England between 2011 and 2019 remain unbuilt, according to new research. An analysis of official figures by the housing charity Shelter and the House Builders Federation shows that more than 380,000 homes granted planning permission during that time period have not been built. And the two organisations have warned that the backlog of unbuilt homes has grown by a further 100,000 in the last year alone. The government’s own 2018 review found that private developers will stall construction if there is a risk of flooding the market, which would reduce the price any new homes could be sold for. It is for this reason that Shelter is warning planning reform is no replacement for government investment. The charity is urging the government to use its upcoming Comprehensive Spending Review to accelerate spending on social housing and turbo-charge construction in the face of the Covid recession. Social housing is the only type of housing that is affordable by design with rents pegged to local income, which would serve the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, it argues. ‘The chronic shortage of decent, genuinely affordable homes in this country is one that must be fixed. But the government’s planning … (To read the full article, subscribe below)