•Just 25,171 residential planning permissions were granted in England in Q2 of 2011
•It is the second lowest number of permissions granted in a quarter in the last 5 years
•25,171 is 24% fewer than were granted in Q1 2011
•And 23% fewer than were granted in Q2 2010
•To meet projected household formations on average 60,000 permissions are required per Quarter
Planning permissions granted now will, in the main, be built during the next three or four years. At a time when fewer homes are being built in England than at any time since the 1920s, the figures reveal the potential for intensifying the country’s housing crisis.
The report, complied for HBF by Glenigan, also puts the recent disputes over planning policy into perspective. What should have been a sensible debate into the most important planning changes since WWII, has been hijacked by sensationalist and inaccurate claims from a number of anti-growth organisations determined to fight all and any development.
Emotive and misleading claims about development on greenbelt have blighted the ongoing consultation into the National Planning Framework (NPPF). The draft NPPF document empowers local people, businesses and charities to shape growth in their communities. It strikes a balance between economic growth, a presumption in favour of sustainable development and existing environmental protection
The social effects of continuing the undersupply of homes are obvious: five million people languish on local authority waiting lists, millions more live in over-crowded and substandard accommodation, whilst first-time buyers have all but disappeared – further stagnating the housing market.
Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said;
"These new figures paint a bleak picture. We already have an acute housing crisis that is affecting the quality of life of families, young and old, across the country and the economy. Today’s extremely low levels of permissions will only make things worse in the short term.
"The figures clearly reveal that while the debate about planning is currently being hijacked by irresponsible scaremongering from anti-growth groups our housing crisis is set to worsen.”
"Government must stand firm and deliver a planning system that supports home building and economic growth. If it doesn’t, the social and economic implications will be felt for generations.”
James Abraham, Economist at Glenigan, commented, "Planning approvals have been on a downward trend for eighteen months, and this continued over the second quarter of 2011. Although there was a pickup at the beginning of the year, the number of housing approvals has dropped to the lowest level in two years. The 29,100 units approved represented a 26% annual decline, and is less than half the number of houses approved on average per quarter in the years before the credit crunch.”
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