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One million homes given green light but not built

More than one million homes granted planning permission in the past decade have not yet been built, according to council leaders.

An analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) shows that 2,564,600 units have been granted planning permission by councils since 2009/10, but only 1,530,680 have been built.

According to the LGA, the number of planning permissions granted for new homes has almost doubled since 2012/13, with councils approving nine in 10 applications.

And the LGA argue that the backlog of unbuilt homes shows the planning system is not a barrier to house building.

It has called on the government to use its forthcoming planning white paper to give councils powers to take action on unbuilt land which has planning permission.

This includes making it easier to compulsory purchase land where homes remain unbuilt, and to be able to charge developers full council tax for every unbuilt development from the point that the original planning permission expires.

As part of its submission to the Treasury ahead of next month’s Budget, the LGA has also called on the government to reform Right to Buy (RTB), by allowing councils to keep all of the receipts of homes sold under RTB to replace them and to have the flexibility to set discounts locally.

‘The planning system is not a barrier to house building,’ said the LGA’s housing spokesman, Cllr David Renard.

‘The number of homes granted planning permission has far outpaced the number of homes being built.

‘No-one can live in a planning permission, or a half-built house where work on a site has begun but not been completed,’ added Cllr Renard.

‘Councils need powers to tackle our housing backlog and step in where a site with planning permission lies dormant and house building has stalled.

‘If we are to solve our housing shortage, councils need to be able to get building again and resume their role as major builders of affordable homes.

‘It is also vital that the planning process is protected, so that councils and communities can ensure we realise the government’s ambition of building beautiful homes, which includes the necessary infrastructure and affordable housing.’

Photo Credit – Free-Photos (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone
Senior reporter - NewStart

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