Housing approvals second lowest for 5 years

Aaron Morby 11 years ago
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House builders have slammed claims that Government planning reforms amount to a dangerous charter to build green homes on green belt.

House builders hit back at environment critics as latest housing approval figures showed a shocking collapse the in the number of planning permissions granted between April and July.

New figures produced by construction research body Glenigan revealed just 25,171 residential planning permissions were granted, in this period. That was 24% down on the first three months of the year and  23% fewer than a year ago.

House builders warned that rather than facing an explosion of house building on the green belt the industry would fail to produce the homes necessary to even begin tackling the housing crisis.

It is estimated around 60,000 homes are required each quarter to meet the current housing shortfall.

Builders warned emotive and misleading claims about development on greenbelt had blighted the ongoing consultation into the National Planning Framework.

They have supported the draft NPPF document as striking a balance between economic growth, a presumption in favour of sustainable development and existing environmental protection.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said: “These new figures paint a bleak picture. We already have an acute housing crisis that is affecting the quality of life of families, young and old, across the country and the economy. Today’s extremely low levels of permissions will only make things worse in the short term.

“The figures clearly reveal that while the debate about planning is currently being hijacked by irresponsible scaremongering from anti-growth groups our housing crisis is set to worsen.”

“Government must stand firm and deliver a planning system that supports home building and economic growth. If it doesn’t, the social and economic implications will be felt for generations.”

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