475,000 homes with planning permission still waiting to be built

New research has revealed that there are a record 475,647 homes in England which have been given planning permission but have yet to be built.

The new research, published by the Local Government Association (LGA), showed that the backlog has grown rapidly in recent years - from 381,390 unimplemented planning permissions in 2012/13 to 475,647 this year. It also found that councils approve nine in every ten applications but developers are taking longer to complete work on site.

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

"While private developers have a key role in solving our chronic housing shortage, they cannot build the 230,000 needed each year on their own. To tackle the new homes backlog and to get Britain building again, councils must have the power to invest in building new homes and to force developers to build homes more quickly.

"New homes are badly-needed and councils want to get on with the job of building them. If we are to see a genuine end to our housing crisis we have to be given the powers to get on with it."