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New Figures Show Increase in Planning Permission During Q3

The most recent Housing Pipeline report issued by Glenigan and the Home Builders Federation shows that between July and September of last year, permission was received for 76,242 homes to be built in England.

The total number of approved homes in the 12 months to September was 289,111.

The report shows that the number of actual locations that received planning permission have dropped, leaving the two organisations to believe that local authorities are granting permission for a growing number of bigger sites as opposed to the combination of size and site type needed to produce more homes.

Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén, who also heads the business market intelligence division, said that the 10% increase in the number of applications approved during the third quarter was propelled by an increase in private homes.

Mr Allan Wilén also believes the figures confirm that housebuilders are confident about market conditions for the year ahead, with a strong development pipeline making sure that they are in a good position to meet demand.

The Neighbourhood Planning Bill, presently going through Parliament, aims to ensure that any planning conditions that call for developers to take certain actions prior to building are only applied when absolutely necessary, but in a manner that preserves environmental and heritage protections.

The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has called for ministers to limit the number of conditions and stop local authorities from imposing unnecessary conditions that could be handled later in the build process so that developers can access sites more quickly.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said that the increasing number of granted planning permissions was encouraging, but a way to unblock the system needed to be found, reducing the time it takes for the builders to start working. He cited issues such as council officers that take long periods of time to approve designs.

 

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The Royal Town Planning Institute stated that the growing number of planning applications demonstrates the important contribution planners make to housing delivery in England. The spokesperson added that planning conditions can serve as a quality assurance tool and enable the passage of schemes that might otherwise be turned down.

They said that the HBF suggestion of limiting the number of conditions could be counterproductive, as it could cause a decision maker to reject an application instead of consider negotiating it.

The RTPI said that changes to planning conditions in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill could help clarify things for those who use the system. It has recommended additional work with relevant groups to encourage best practices in planning condition matters, including discretion over when details should be required in the planning process. A review of applicant understanding process could also be necessary if a solution to the problem is to be found.

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