New homes building at WW1 levels
Published:  31 May, 2011

LONDON: Housebuilding activity in the UK has slumped to its lowest level in 90 years. Figures from local authorities show fewer than 38 000 new homes granted planning permission in the first quarter of this year, 17% lower than a year ago and almost half that of five years ago. There are now five millionpeople on local authority waiting lists for homes.

This is despite the Government making housebuilding a key policy and unveiling measures in the Budget to boost construction levels, such as relaxing the rules on converting offices to residential property.

Developers remain uncertain about the outlook for the economy amid tax rises and spending cuts, and their doubts have been exacerbated by the overhaul of the planning system. Housebuilders have attacked the transition period between the old and new systems, claiming local authorities have been left in limbo as the Localism Bill goes through parliament.

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