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New research by the Local Government Association has revealed that more than 423,000 homes have been given planning permission but are still waiting to be built.
Such a backlog has grown by almost 16 per cent in the last year, with the total number of unimplemented planning permissions in England and Wales rising to 423,544 last year. Additionally, it now takes an average of 40 months from schemes receiving planning permission to building work being completed, which is eight months longer than in 2013/14.
With councils approving nine in every 10 planning applications, the LGA argues that need to be given greater powers to take action on unbuilt land which has planning permission, as well as powers to act on uncompleted schemes.
Martin Tett, LGA Housing spokesman, said: “These figures prove that the planning system is not a barrier to house building. In fact the opposite is true. In the last year, councils and their communities granted twice as many planning permissions as the number of new homes that were completed.
“No-one can live in a planning permission. Councils need greater powers to act where housebuilding has stalled. To tackle the new homes backlog and to get the country building again, councils also need the freedom to borrow and invest in desperately-needed new homes, as recognised by the influential Treasury Select Committee last month. Our national housing shortage is one of the most pressing issues we face.
“While private developers have a key role to play in solving our housing crisis, they cannot meet the 300,000 housebuilding target set by the government on their own. We have no chance of housing supply meeting demand unless councils can get building again.”
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