Planning change won't spur boom

Published:  06 September, 2012

LONDON: Councils say planning issues are not holding back house building with data showing a backlog of houses already granted permission.

A study conducted for the Local Government Association (LGA) published today revealed that over half the 399,816 houses granted planning consent in England and Wales had not seen any form of construction work commence.

The LGA said the figure represented a three-and-a-half-year backlog of work for the construction industry and calls into question the potential for further planning deregulation to spur a construction boom. LGA chairman Sir Merrick Cockell said the figures should lay to rest the 'myth' that the planning system was to blame for a lack of new homes being built.

"To get Britain building again we need to address the lack of liquidity in the finance market and tackle the shortage of mortgages for struggling first-time buyers," he said.

"The planning system has been massively reformed under this government, and it is clear that unlocking frustrated demand, not increasing supply, is now the most urgent problem in the housing market."

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