Waverley councillors and the Local Government Association (LGA) has claimed that…
“There are sites with planning permissions where landowners and developers are deliberately not bringing them forward, and a million homes await construction.”
But experts claim, Councils ‘may have to grant permissions for 64% more houses to meet government’s 300,000-home target’ and the number of homes granted planning consent by councils may have to rise by up to 64 per cent “immediately” to hit the government’s target of delivering 300,000 homes per year by the middle of the decade.
A report commissioned from consultants – Lichfields by The Home Builders Federation (HBF ) and others, reveal that there has been an annual rate of planning consents of between 300,000 to 400,000 homes. However this doesn’t tally with completions, so has led to the view that developers are deliberately hanging onto sites.
But the report rubbishes this conclusion saying…
“This fundamentally misinterprets the data. Each year the number of permissions granted includes homes on sites that would not be built out in one or two years, some sites await funding for infrastructure (which can only be sought once permission is granted) and some permissions will be replacement permissions for approvals granted in previous years to reflect technical changes, re-design, alterations in housing mix or design detail. Successive years of units with permission will therefore incorporate significant double counting.”
The report adds: In reality, the number of homes with planning permission will need to exceed the size of the pipeline, because some permissions will be delayed, re-planned or lapse, and some will deliver homes beyond a five-year horizon, suggesting that…
“a minimum estimated total stock of around 1.7 million homes with permission is needed”.
To meet this, councils would need to sharply increase housing consents. The report sets out three scenarios: an upper scenario of 608,400 housing units consented each year; a midpoint scenario of 518,500 units consented; and a lower scenario of 428,500 units consented. These would represent rises in the amount of units consented annually of 64, 40 and 15 per cent respectively. This compares with 372,000 new homes permitted recorded by MHCLG in 2019.
The report adds that, “if the government’s ambition to achieve 300,000 homes per year by the mid 2020s (assumed to be no later than 2027) is to be achieved then, given the assumed gap of two years from granted of permission to recorded completion, this means the increase in permissions is needed immediately, and by 2023”.
The report comes after Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the government is considering sanctions for developers over permissions that are not built out quickly enough.