One million outstanding homes remain unbuilt

Calls for a planning system that is community and environmentally led whilst supporting levelling up across the country were heard at Westminster Hall debate put forward by Bob Seely, the Member of Parliament for the Isle of Wight.

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Wide-spread support for planning system reform

The consequences of this, claimed Seely, were that new housing developments were often car-dependent “in the middle of nowhere” and against the wishes of the community, arguing that this is a key reason behind how over 1.1 million homes with planning permission are still waiting to be built, as reported by the Local Government Association

Further questions were raised by the Shadow Minister for Housing and Planning, who pointed out several potential loopholes that local authorities could take advantage of in order to build fewer homes than their communities need. 

In response, the Minister of State for Housing and Planning Lucy Frazer MP reaffirmed the UK Government’s commitment to building 300,000 new homes a year, and that the upcoming reforms to the planning system in England will deliver a cultural shift in the way communities actively pursue developments. 

In December 2022, the Department for Levelling up Housing and Communities released a consultation on its upcoming planning reforms. Propertymark will be posting its full response shortly, and any comments on the proposals should be directed to our Policy Team via [email protected]

Propertymark has often stated that undersupply is and continues to be one of the key underlying issues facing the sector today. We therefore encourage the UK Government to stick to its commitment to address the undersupply of housing.

The historic levels of undersupply of homes, exacerbated by empty homes and unused brownfield land, all contribute to people having less choices of where they want to live. While there are several other factors impacting the number of homes that are built every year, we want to see reforms to the planning system that  increase the supply homes across all tenures.

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Timothy Douglas Head of Policy and Campaigns | Propertymark