Today on Richard Carr’s blog he looks at Housing Minister Brandon Lewis recent claims that the number of homes granted planning permission in the UK are now higher than before the 2008 economic crash.
Eight year high
In the year to March, research shows that councils up and down the UK granted planning permission for 261,000 new homes, which is the highest 12 month total for eight years.
The previous high was back in 2007, just before the crash, when the number of homes granted planning permission reached close to 240,000.
In a press release, Brandon Lewis explained:
“The previous system of top-down targets built nothing but resentment. Our reforms, a key part of our long-term economic plan, have changed that.
“It means that permissions have been granted on 261,000 homes in the year to March – higher than the pre-recession peak in 2007 – while housing starts are more than double what they were 6 years ago.
“And with the Housing Bill set to include measures to bring forward brownfield sites, we’re determined that we will keep the country building while protecting the green belt.”
As with many industries at the time, the economic crash devastated the housebuilding sector, leading to the loss of a quarter of a million construction jobs.
It’s for this reason why the government has put housebuilding at the heart of its long-term economic plan.
By putting the power of planning in the hands of local planning authorities, the government believes that the people in the best position can shape the future development of their area. However, Development Specialist Richard Carr, believes that LPA’s are understaffed and under resourced. This results in delays for developers which can often prove costly.
Despite this, the government claim that local support for housebuilding has doubled in the last four years, from 28% in 2010 to 56% currently.
The eagerly awaited Housing Bill will reportedly go further, including measures such as a new register of brownfield land to help fast-track the construction of new homes on previously-used sites near existing communities.
Currently 1,500 communities in the UK have applied to have their neighbourhood plan designated, whilst the plan will also include measures to streamline and speed up the process so even more areas can follow suit.
Richard Carr believes that such news is fantastic for the industry, but believes that there is still much to do to get this part of the economy moving faster.