William Eichler 20 April 2017

Number of sites with planning permission ‘falling’, survey reveals

Number of sites with planning permission ‘falling’, survey reveals

Local authorities are continuing to increase the number of new home planning permissions being granted, housing survey reveals, but there is concern the number of sites permissioned is falling.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) Housing Pipeline survey found permissions for 293,127 new homes were granted by local authorities in 2016, but it said the number of sites permissioned has fallen by 11% compared with 2015 - from 19,600 in 2015 to 17,500 in 2016.

HBF said this indicates permissions are being granted on larger ‘strategic’ sites which take longer to start being delivered because of their infrastructure requirements.

They warned councils should not rely on larger sites to deliver all their housing needs.

In a separate report, entitled Reversing the Decline of Small Housebuilders, HBF also said SMEs were struggling to find suitable sites to build on and progressing them through the planning process because councils were focusing a lot of attention on larger site.

‘We welcome the fact that local authorities continue to increase the number of planning permissions being granted,’ said Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF.

‘The number of permissions being granted is a strong indicator of future housing supply and will feed through into completed new homes in the years to come.

‘The drop in the number of sites on which the permissions are being granted on is concerning. As the [Government] White Paper indicates, we need to ensure that permissions are being granted on a mix of site sizes and that local authorities are not reliant on one or two large sites.

‘A mix of site sizes will better ensure a flow of housing completions and also enable SME builders to play their part in delivering new homes.’

 
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