Successful planning applications reach 10 year high

The number of planning permissions approved throughout 2016 are at a 10 year high, reports the Home Builders Federation (HBF).

Since surveys began in 2006, Glenigan, an industry data provider, also reports in the twelve months between September 2015 and September 2016 that the total number of successful applications in England reached a record 289,011.

In spite of the government proposing changes late last year that would reduce some of the obligations and conditions imposed on developers by local authorities, the HBF are concerned that in response to this, fewer applications will get approved by councils.

Whilst debating the bill, Labour MPs defended the need for developers to satisfy pre-commencement conditions before being able to start construction as these are often “make or break issues for communities”.

The HBF, however, expressed concern over inappropriate conditions being applied, for instance, developers having to map out a bus route strategy or full details of play areas for children.

Executive Chairman of the HBF, Stewart Baseley, said, “The housebuilding industry is committed to building more homes but can only do so if it has the land on which to build them.”

“It is encouraging that so many headline planning permissions are being granted but we simply have to find a way to unblock the system and reduce the time it takes to get a permission to the stage where builders can actually start building.”

Despite the larger number of successful planning applications, the number of sites approved for building has fallen indicating, notes the HBF, indicating that councils favour large, strategic sites.