Probe starts into land-banking house builders claim

Aaron Morby 1 month ago
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The new Ministry of Housing has appointed a line-up of experts to investigate why house builders are failing to build out sites with planning.

Sir Oliver Letwin is chairing the review that among other issues will look into claims that the industry is land banking.

The Government announced the review in the Autumn Budget to seek to explain the gap between the number of planning permissions being granted against those built in areas of high demand.

According to Government figures just over half the 684,000 homes with planning permission as of July 2016 had been completed.

Housing review experts

  • Richard Ehrman – Small commercial property developer. Former special adviser to the secretary of state for Employment and subsequently Northern Ireland, onetime chief leader writer of the Daily Telegraph, and former deputy shairman of Policy Exchange
  • Lord Jitesh Gadhia – Member of House of Lords and investment banker
  • Lord John Hutton – (Labour) Peer and former secretary of state
  • Baroness Usha Prashar CBE, PC – (Crossbench) Peer. Currently deputy chairman, British Council and a non-executive director of Nationwide Building Society
  • Christine Whitehead – Emeritus Professor of Housing Economics at London School of Economics

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

It will also consider how to avoid interventions, which might discourage house building or hinder the regeneration of complex sites.

Latest evidence shows that residential planning applications are up and that time to process major applications continues to be at a record high.

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

“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.”

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