William Eichler 15 January 2018

Whitehall announces panel to investigate slow rate of house building

Whitehall announces panel to investigate slow rate of house building

The Government has unveiled the panel of experts who will review the gap between the number of planning permissions being granted and the houses being built in areas of high demand.

The review was originally announced at the Autumn Budget as part of Whitehall’s attempt to speed up the rate of development to alleviate the housing crisis.

According to the Local Government Association (LGA), councils approve nine out of 10 planning applications. However, as of July 2016, just over half the 684,000 homes with planning permission had been completed.

The review will seek to identify the main causes of this gap and will make recommendations on practical steps to increase the speed of build out.

It will be chaired by Sir Oliver Letwin and will include Richard Ehrman, the former deputy chairman of the centre-right think tank Policy Exchange, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, a member of the House of Lords and an investment banker, and the Labour peer Lord John Hutton.

‘This Government is serious about finding ways to increase the speed of build out as well as tackling the complicated issues surrounding it,’ said Sir Oliver.

‘That’s why we have set up this diverse panel to help me test my analysis and to make practical, non-partisan recommendations, as we look to increase housing supply that’s consistent with a stable UK housing market.’

Housing secretary Sajid Javid commented: ‘We are determined to build the homes this country needs, but currently there is still a significant gap between the number of planning permissions being granted and the number of homes built.

‘This review is vital to helping us understand how we can build more homes quickly.

‘All parties have a role to play in closing the gap and I look forward to receiving Sir Oliver’s findings.’

 
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