A million homes ‘awaiting development’

New analysis by the LGA suggests more than a million homes on land earmarked for development by councils have yet to be brought forward by developers for planning permission.

The analysis, compiled after a survey of council heads of planning, estimates that more than a third (1,003,600) of the 2,676,200 homes allocated in current local plans in England have not been submitted to the planning system.

This amounts to 4.4 years’ worth of housing supply, in addition to those already granted planning permission and schemes under construction. 

The LGA says this is further evidence that councils are allocating enough land to deliver a housing pipeline for many years ahead and that planning is not a barrier to building the homes the country desperately needs.

It is calling on the Government to introduce measures to tackle a “broken” housing-delivery system, and to give councils the powers to incentivise developers to bring allocated sites forward without delay or intervene where development has stalled. 

This could include 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 that is not built out to agreed timescales.

Cllr David Renard, LGA Housing Spokesperson, said: “This is another example of our broken housing-delivery system, and shows why councils need to be given the powers to ensure desperately needed homes are getting built in a swift and timely manner.

“Councils are committed to working with government to see an efficient, well-resourced planning system that ensures high-quality affordable homes are built where they are most needed, supported by the right infrastructure.”

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