Planning permission approvals for new homes in London almost doubled in the first quarter compared to the same time last year, according to figures.
The number of new homes approved for planning permission in the capital went up by 89 per cent in the first three months of 2012 to reach 12,923, the Home Builders Federation’s (HBF) latest Housing Pipeline report shows.
Planning permission was granted for some 6,860 homes in London in the first quarter of last year, while just 4,498 homes were approved in the final quarter of 2011.
It is the largest number of planning permission approvals since the third quarter of 2009, when 17,778 were granted.
While the figures are encouraging for the construction industry in London, HBF spokesman Steve Turner said it would be premature to declare it a lasting success.
Turner said: “It is too early to say if what we have seen over one quarter is going to be replicated in the future, hopefully it will be.
“On the positive side, the mayor’s London Housing Strategy is now in place and lots of boroughs had housing plans adopted.
“This gives a certainty to local authorities and builders which could be why planning permissions have gone up. But before we can be too pleased and positive we will have to see if it maintains over a longer period.”
Mayor of London Boris Johnson has targeted building 32,210 homes a year for the next 10 years, which would mean approving around 8,000 homes a quarter across London over the next decade.
However, Turner pointed out that not all approved projects would actually be completed.
“There are a lot of sites when you add it up that are not viable,” he said, citing quotas for affordable homes, carbon emissions targets and contributions to local schools and roads as factors that can see projects shelved.
Across England, the number of homes receiving planning permission approval went up by 10 per cent year-on-year to 36,761. However, this figure is still some way short of the 60,000 required each quarter to meet housing need.
Planning permissions granted now will generally be constructed in the next three or four years, the HBF said. Fewer homes are now being built in England at any time since the 1920s, the group said.
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