Sites with planning permission need to 'double'
A top developer has said the country needs to double the number of sites with planning permission in order to meet the needs of the growing population.
Chris Tinker, regeneration chairman at Crest Nicholson, told delegates at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton today that the scale of the housing challenge is ‘enormous’.
Speaking at a fringe event organised by the Town and Country Planning Association, Mr Tinker said on average between 25 and 30 homes are sold on each site each year. ‘If you divide those 25 to 30 homes a year sold by the number of homes required for the growth in population, you find you need 6,000 sites across the country,’ he said.
‘We currently only have around 3,000. The housing challenge can only be met if we more than double the number of sites with planning permission.’
Paul Crossley, a Lib Dem councillor at Bath and North East Somerset Council, said the biggest problem facing development was the availability and price of land. ‘Land is always a difficult issue but the government has shed loads of land. We need to be asking the government why it has so much land in different agencies - they should give it all to the HCA [Homes and Communities Agency].’
He said councils should be allowed to work with housing associations and the HCA to build on publically-owned sites.
Kate Henderson, chief executive of the TCPA, said: ‘There’s been much debate about planning but we have an urgent need to act now for the sake of the economy and the environment.’