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Home builders attack land bank "myth"

Words: Huw Morris
English countryside

Home builders have hit out at the "myth" of land banking by unveiling figures showing just four per cent of their land is still awaiting a start on site.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) looked at 220,000 plots held in the land banks of the 23 major companies. This revealed that:
• 63% are on sites where construction is under way
• 31% are either on sites with only an outline permission or where building is awaiting councils to discharge planning conditions
• 4% of plots have an implementable planning permission but work has yet to begin
• 2% are on sites not being developed because they are not economically viable.
"When you look beyond the rhetoric and the lazy accusations, the facts are quite clear: house builders do not hoard land or landbank unnecessarily," said HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley. "The debate really needs to be about how we get the land in the planning system through more quickly to build the homes we need and not about myths."
The HBF said there are currently around 185,000 potential homes in the planning system. Finding a way of getting them built more quickly "must be a priority for the government".