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Planning permissions highest since 2008 – report

Words: Laura Edgar

Initial planning permission for 255,032 new homes was granted in England in 2015, according to the Home Builders Federation (HBF) and Glenigan’s latest Housing Pipeline report.

The report suggests this figure represents a 57 per cent increase on the number of initial planning permissions granted in 2009, which was 162,204.

Permissions granted in Q4 of 2015 were noted as being up by 13 per cent on the same quarter in 2014, to 74,759.

According to the report, more than 180,000 new homes were added to the housing stock in 2014/15, a rise of 22 per cent on the previous year.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the HBF, said that many of the permissions have multiple “hurdles to cross as they navigate the complexities of the planning system” before on site building work can begin, such as discharging planning conditions.

Although the figures are a “strong indicator” of future supply, the industry “continues to urge” the government to “streamline” the planning process.

Additionally, Baseley explained: “We need to see these permissions being processed to the stage where we can get onto site and start building more quickly and really start to meet demand for housing.”

Allan Wilén, economics director and head of business market intelligence at Glenigan added: “The strong rise in planning approvals during the closing months of 2015, driven by an increase in the number of private housing units approved, bodes well for house building activity during the current year.

“The expanded development pipeline will help house builders to meet any strengthening in demand from house buyers.”

The report can be found here (pdf).

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