Planning reforms credited with rise in approvals
The number of homes built in England has risen 17 per cent since last year but is still falling well short of demand, according to the latest figures.
The latest Housing Pipeline report, published by the Home Builders Federation, showed that approvals for 33,881 homes across England were granted in the third quarter of this year, an increase of 36 per cent on the previous quarter, and 17 per cent on the same period last year.
However, the number is still well short of the 60,000 per quarter needed to meet demand, or the 64,500 that were being granted on average during 2006/07.
The HBF noted the positive figures come in the second quarter since the new national planning policy framework was implemented.
Under the NPPF, local authorities have more power over what is built in their areas. They are required to assess their housing need now and over the coming years and then allocate sufficient land to meet it.
The HBF said some local authorities are sticking to the new principles, but warned others are not, leading to ‘an increasing number of successful appeals in instances where local authorities are behaving unreasonably’.
Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said: ‘The increase is good news and hopefully a reflection of the positive planning principles of the new system. It is just one quarterly increase and we are still well short of the number needed but we hope it starts a trend that will continue in 2013.
‘Ministers have in the past year unveiled some very positive measures aimed at boosting housing supply, but they will only succeed if we have a truly pro-growth planning system.
‘The new system must provide enough viable land to build the number of homes the country needs. Continuing the current low level of house building is storing up huge social and economic problems for the years ahead and the shortfall must be addressed.’