A new report by the Home Builders Federation showed that new builds have increased by 12% since 2013 and 39% since 2012, with about 200,000 new homes been given planning permission in 2014. Although we have seen an increase in approved planning permission over the past year, we still need a dramatic increase in planning approvals in order for builders to build enough houses for increasing demand.
The report has also stated that since the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, existing sites ear marked for new builds are being built on quicker, so builders are constantly looking around for sites with planning permission. They state that too many sites are being held up by local authorities planning departments, who just don't have enough man power to process the rise in applications, which means that around 150,000 plots are stuck in the 'outline permission' stage of the process, waiting for sign off by local authorities.
The government has tried really hard to make the process of building on new sites easier, by introducing deemed discharge of conditions, but the amount of new permission is still lower than needed.
HBF also state that central and local government must prioritise making sure that there are enough people able to process more planning applications. It believes that by speeding up the rate in which permissions are given will help increase the amount of housing supply.
Stewart Baseley Executive chairman of the HBF stated: 'Over the past 18 months, demand for new homes, largely driven by the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has increased markedly. House builders have responded by significantly increasing house building activity,'
'We are still only building around half the number of new homes the country needs. Getting the required number of permissions, in a timely manner, is absolutely key to the industry's ability to deliver. In addition more needs to be done to speed up the plots that are awaiting final approval to allow construction to commence,' he explained.