New research shows landbank increases

New figures from the LGA show conclusively that numbers of unbuilt consented housing plots have been growing rapidly since 2012.  Brownfield Briefing Jan 2016

New research for the Local Government Association has confirmed that England has a vast surplus of consented but unbuilt housing developments, with 475,647 in builders’ land banks.

The study, carried out by Glenigan, shows unbuilt consented plots have grown rapidly since the National Planning Policy Framework was imposed in 2012. In 2012-13 there were 381,390 unimplemented plots and in 2013-14 there 443,265 despite a rapidly improving market.

“These figures conclusively prove that the planning system is not a barrier to house building,” said LGA housing spokesman Peter Box. “In fact the opposite is true, councils are approving almost half a million more houses than are being built, and this gap is increasing.”

He pointed out that, while private builders have a key role to play, they cannot solve housing shortages alone, so councils need the power to invest in homes and to force developers to build more quickly. He called for measures to address the construction skills shortage.  The analysis showed that the average time between planning consent and completion has also risen sharply.  In 2008-9 it was 21 months, in 2012-13 it was 27 months but by 2014-15 it had risen to 32 months.

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