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15/11/2018

Incremental increase in net additional dwellings

Words: Laura Edgar
New houses / iStock

There was a 2 per cent year-on-year increase in the number of net additional dwellings delivered in 2017/18.

In total, there were 222,190 net additional dwellings in England, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) statistical release shows.

This breaks down into 195,290 new-build homes; 29,720 gains from the change of use between non-domestic and residential; 4,550 from conversions between houses and flats; and 680 other gains. This is offset by 8,050 demolitions.

Of the 29,720 change of use additions, 13,536 were delivered through permitted development rights. This includes 11,555 from former offices and 743 from agricultural buildings.

Housing secretary James Brokenshire said: “Today’s figures are great news and show another yearly increase in the number of new homes delivered, but we are determined to do more to keep us on track to deliver the homes communities need.

“That’s why we have set out an ambitious package of measures to deliver 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s. This includes over £44 billion investment, rewriting the planning rules and scrapping the borrowing cap so councils can deliver a new generation of council housing.”

The statistical release can be found here on the MHCLG website.


Reaction to the stats:

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman at the Home Builders Federation, said the figures are a sign that the home building industry is delivering the increases in housing supply the country needs.

“Whilst the secondhand market remains sluggish amidst wider economic uncertainty, with Help to Buy enabling first-time buyers to purchase new-build homes, builders have continued to invest and increase output.

“As well as providing desperately needed new homes, the increases are providing an economic boost across the country. Housebuilding sites have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and provided billions of pounds towards improving local infrastructure and communities.

“Whilst huge progress is being made, government needs to continue to work with all parts of the housing sector to assist them to deliver further increases if we are to hit their 300,000 target.”

Jason Lowes, partner at planning consultancy Rapleys, said: “The number of new build completions has continued to increase, further reinforcing the welcome findings of the Letwin Review that there is lack of evidence for the often repeated claims that developers are guilty of land banking. Today’s statistics strongly suggest that developers are not holding back from delivering housing once planning consents have been given.

“Looking ahead, the government’s response to Letwin, expected in February 2019, needs to ensure that it does not stymie this progress by increasing the complexity of the planning system – particularly as it relates to large sites – which would further challenge developers and stretched local authorities.”


Marginal decline in traveller caravans

The MHCLG also released statistics on traveller caravans as of July 2018. It was recorded as 22,662, which 151 less than the 22,813 noted in July 2017.

According to the release, 86 per cent of caravans in England were on authorised land, and 14 per cent were not.

This breaks down to:

  • 6,576 caravans were on authorised socially rented sites, down 146 since July 2017.
  • 12,993 caravans were on authorised privately funded sites, 623 more than a year earlier.
  • The number of caravans on unauthorised encampments on land owned by travellers was 2,149. This is a decrease of 48 compared to July 2017.
  • The number of caravans on unauthorised encampments on land not owned by travellers was 944, 580 caravans less than a year earlier.

The statistics can be found here on the MHCLG website.

Image credit | iStock

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