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HBF: Nearly twice as many residential planning approvals needed

The Home Builders Federation says it welcomes the news of a 36 per cent increase in the number of approvals in the third quarter but that almost twice as many are required to meet demand.

The Federation’s Housing Pipeline report shows 33,881 approvals for residential planning approvals were granted during the three months ending 30 September – up 36 per cent from 24,872 in the second quarter and 17 per cent on the same period last year, from 29.059.

This latest figures still represents a major shortfall in the number of new homes needed. The HBF says 60,000 new homes per quarter are needed in order to meet demand.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley says: “The increase is good news and hopefully a reflection of the positive planning principles of the new system. It is just one quarterly increase and we are still well short of the number needed but we hope it starts a trend that will continue in 2013.”

The third quarter figures are the second set to be released since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework in April which the HBF says is helping to increase the number of developments in progress.

The NPPF is underpinned by a “robust appeal system” which is contributing to an increasing number of successful appeals in instances where Local Authorities are “behaving unreasonably.”

Baseley says: “The [NPPF] gives much more power to Local Authorities to take control over what is being built in their areas. This is necessarily underpinned by a robust appeals process where local authorities are not meeting the responsibilities they have to their communities. While we are hopefully seeing a turning point in planning permissions much more can be done – the policy announcements within The Growth and Infrastructure Bill coupled with measures to kickstart stalled sites and a real and concerted effort to reduce red tape are vital to continuing this important progress.”

There are approximately 110,000 homes a year in England currently being built against a requirement of 240,000.

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