According to new figures, Local Authorities are approving more housing developments than ever, but a bumper building backlog is being created as a result.
Research published by the Local Government Association (LGA) reports that 400,000 new homes have received planning permission but have not yet been built, and of those approved plots, more than half have not even been started. It is anticipated that three and a half years would be required, at the current rate of construction, to clear the backlog of all the homes signed off by the local authorities.
However, government figures offer a positive slant to the situation, showing that the overall percentage of planning applications being approved by councils has hit a 10-year record high in the last 12 months.
Sir Merrick Cockell, Chairman of the LGA, commented on the research findings: “These figures conclusively prove that local authorities are overwhelmingly saying ‘yes’ to new development and should finally lay to rest the myth that the lack of new homes being built is the fault of the planning system.”
Other findings which show that the time taken for developers to complete work on site has increased by several months in recent years,these don’t help with the backlog. In the most extreme cases, it is taking nearly nine years from permission being granted to homes being completely built.