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20,000 sites approved to June 2018 – stats

Words: Laura Edgar
Approved / Shutterstock_792865963

In the year to June 2018, 354,646 units were granted planning approval across 20,076 sites in across the England, Wales and Scotland.

Housing supply increased to 217,000 in 2016/17 – a 74 per cent increase in four years.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Glenigan, a firm that provides construction data, published the statistics.

In the second quarter of 2018, 77,704 homes were approved, a year-on-year decrease of 15 per cent. The report authors suggested the fall could in part be down to uncertainty over Help to Buy after March 2021, with many plots currently being approved set to deliver in and beyond 2021.

Additionally, there was uncertainty about the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which was published in July, and local elections may have delayed decisions.

Regionally, approvals were down in London compared with a year earlier, but they increased in Wales, Yorkshire and Humber, and the South West by 25 per cent, 23 per cent and 11 per cent respectively, year on year.

The industry welcomed the number of approvals but recognises that it could take months or years for them to get to stage where building starts. It urges the government to invest in local planning departments so they can deal quickly and efficiently with the volume of planning permission being submitted.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at HBF, said: “If we are to get to 300,000 homes a year, we need to see consistently high levels of permissions being granted, and then crucially, processed efficiently. We also need to see the new planning system implemented by local authorities as intended and more sites of all sizes coming forward. Providing certainty over the future of the Help to Buy scheme, that has been central to the increases in output we have seen, is also key.”

Housing Pipeline Q2 2018 can be read on the HBF website (pdf).

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