planning construction

Red tape on planning applications means red light for new-builds

Last week it was reported that the backlog of more than 423,000 homes, which had been granted planning permission but have yet to be built, had risen by 16% compared with 2015/2016.

Despite a chronic shortage of new homes, developers across the UK appear to be lagging in their ability to start construction once planning has been granted.

The latest data, revealed in research by construction industry firm Glenigan and commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA), highlights that the current system needs to be changed to enable building works to begin within a shorter timeframe by bestowing enhanced powers on the 370 local councils across England and Wales.

Local councils restricted by current regulations

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LGA said: “Our most recent findings highlight that wider control should be given to all councils to allow more compulsory land acquisition and permit them to approve construction on sites that have obtained planning permission where house building has not begun.

“In addition, in the case of planning permission expiring before a new development has been completed, that councils in the event of planning should have the right to levy a charge to developers for the full rate of council tax to act as an incentive to speed up the construction process.”

Whilst the current level of council approved planning applications is running at a ratio of nine out of 10, presently they lack the ability to intervene to prevent sites nationwide standing empty and ensure that developers are made to commit to a reasonable timescale resulting in residential developments keeping up with the escalating demand for new-build housing across the country.

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