Home Property Planning applications received by councils in England saw their numbers drop 11.7% during the first quarter

Planning applications received by councils in England saw their numbers drop 11.7% during the first quarter

by LLP Editor
18th Aug 22 4:46 pm

According to data obtained by the National Association of Property Buyers, 109,924 were received between January and March this year – an 11.7% fall on the first three months of 2021. Of those received, 96,045 were decided upon which is 2.8% less than the 98,912 which were approved in the first quarter of 2021.

It means planning decisions are still falling well short of the level we saw before the pandemic – where applications hit a record low due to restrictions on local authorities by Covid.

Jonathan Rolande, from the NAPB, said, “Fewer applications are being received and less are being decided upon. Given we are in the midst of a housing crisis which has left many unable to get a foot on the ladder, these figures are concerning. I suspect this is a reflection of the massive hurdles which still exist to build new homes.

“New applications to build homes must overcome enormous obstacles to obtain planning consent. The environment, travel infrastructure, schooling, utility supply, medical services, the wishes of neighbours and much more must all be taken into account. And the ongoing financial uncertainty may also be seeing many developers waiting before embarking on fresh building projects.”

But Mr Rolande said there is a consequence to this which means, ultimately, house-hunters will be the victims of.

He said, “The ongoing lack of property in areas where people want them has led to a bidding war with buyers asked to pay ever-increasing prices.”

“The housing crisis means many house-hunters, especially younger people, have no hope of ever being able to own their own home, with the pleasure and security that brings.

“Left to its own devices, not much looks set to change. The problem looks likely to be felt more acutely by future generations as they reach their potential property buying age.

He added, “There are many ways to improve the situation but in the end, supply is the issue. We need more property. It’s telling that over 50% of our entire housing stock was built before 1964.

“Victorian architects had few concerns about planning and a ready supply of land to begin their enormous home building program, the result of which is seen in every town with often the brightest, prettiest and most desirable homes having been built 140 years ago.

“We are in a difficult situation today and things are only going to get worse. That’s why we need bold steps to sort it out and this begins with planning consent.

“Whilst there are no easy solutions to the UK’s housing crisis, one thing’s certain, the current supply both in terms of quantity and quality isn’t meeting the needs of society. Whether buying or renting, surely people deserve better.

He concluded, “Given the implications for people all over the country, it’s time to start talking about what can be done to truly fix it – once and for all. The UK’s growing housing crisis needs to become more than just a dinner party discussion about house prices. It needs to be seen for the outrage that it really is.”

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