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Housing shortfall to reach one million

England’s housing shortage could reach the one million mark by the end of 2010 if production levels aren’t increased, according to a report published by the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA).

The paper, set to be launched at the Labour Party conference today, is calling on the Government to do more to push new housing construction.

Co-author of the report David Pretty said: ‘If we ignore this problem and reduce public intervention and investment in new supply of both private and affordable housing, there could be serious social and economic consequences, not least record housing waiting lists and more pain for beleaguered first-time buyers.

‘Further action, such as more land release, support for new entrants in the market and expansion of the private rented sector, is needed to avoid a return to a cycle of housing boom and bust.’

The report calls for a building rate of at least 250,000 new homes a year to match annual population growth. This compares too poorly with this year’s figures, which are likely to be under 100,000.

More planning statistics

  • Decisions on planning applications for residential developments fell by 37 per cent in the June quarter 2009 compared with the June quarter 2008. Decisions on major residential developments (10 or more dwellings) plummeted by 46 per cent over the same period 
  • The number of planning applications received by district level planning authorities dropped by 21 per cent when compared with the June 2008 quarter.
  • District level planning authorities also saw a decrease of 27 per cent in the number of applications decided (granted or refused) when compared with the same quarter a year ago.
  • The percentage of major applications determined within the 13-week target was 71 per cent compared with 72 per cent in the June 2008 quarter.
  • Authorities carrying out county level planning activity determined 302 applications; a fall of 19 per cent when compared with the same quarter a year ago.

Readers' comments (1)

  • I'm still intrigued to know how many bedrooms there are in the UK. I'm guessing well over 62 million. Is the problem a housing shortage, or a UK housing mentality / housing distribution? And does this raise issues such as home-ownership as status, consumerism, control, tenancy rights vs. Europe. Obviously the knee-jerk response is to just: "BUILD MORE HOMES!!!". It would be interesting to read some different approaches which address the cause of the problem, and not just the symptoms.

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