Building planning delays blocking growth, survey finds

According to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), planning delays are ‘one of the biggest barriers to growth’ in the construction sector.

The survey identified a dramatic slowing of growth in the private housing sector, despite the government’s promise to deliver 200,000 new homes by 2020. RICS reported that private housing workloads have risen during the first three months of 2016, at their slowest rate since 2013.

Data from the research found that 36 per cent of those working in the private housing sector reported a rise in growth, compared to last year’s higher 50 per cent. In particular, 33 per cent more respondents saw their workloads rise during the last quarter of 2015. However, this figure has dropped five per cent over the last three months.

RICS has called on the government to do more to free up private brownfield sites, but also argues the biggest problem is planning delays.

Simon Robinsohn, chief economist of RICS, said: “Our survey tells us that planning delays are one of the biggest barriers to growth in the construction sector.

“We have recommended that councils work together to create a team of emergency planners who can parachute into boroughs that are experiencing significant delays, therefore reducing a major growth barrier.”