Housing approvals top 200,000 in England

Aaron Morby 9 years ago
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New home planning permissions have soared passed the 200,000 mark for the first time since early 2008.

The latest Housing Pipeline report shows a 19% rise in planning approvals in England to 52,167 homes during the first quarter of this year.

The jump has taken the 12-month rolling total to a seven-year high of 203,810 permissions.

Many of the homes identified in the report for the Home Builders Federation by construction information firm Glenigan still have to navigate the remainder of the planning system, a process that continues to take far too long, delaying work starting on many of the sites.

Measures announced by the Government in the Productivity Plan earlier this month should help to both speed up the planning process and deliver further increases in the number of permissions being granted.

Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said: “One of the biggest constraints on the industry’s ability to meet the new level of demand and deliver further sustained increases in build rates is the planning process.

“How quickly we get more sites to the point where we can actually start to lay bricks will be a major influence on future house building levels.

“The headline announcements made in the Productivity Plan sound very positive. What is key is that the detail is now developed and the proposals implemented as soon as is possible.

“Increasing housing delivery will provide the high quality homes our next generation needs, support thousands of companies up and down the land and create tens of thousands of jobs.”

The report – which only measures permissions on sites of over 10 units – also shows that the number of sites consented has been fairly stable over the last 18 months, though at a higher level than previous four to five years.

Increasing the number of sites on which house builders are selling homes is absolutely key to a sustained increase in actual build numbers as more sites mean more site outlets and more construction work, while also helping small and medium-sized house builders to acquire sites and expand output.

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