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Report says 46% of London’s approved homes remain unbuilt

Housing down downturn drop
  • 3 Comments

Hundreds of thousands of London homes with planning permission remain unbuilt, a report has claimed.

Business group London First and accountancy firm Grant Thornton have published figures showing 135,404 residential units completed in the capital between 2010 and 2017, excluding small projects.

This is against a background of 357,451 schemes being awarded planning consent during the same time period.

The report said that just 29,701 of 54,941 homes given planning permission in 2014 had started on site by 2017.

This gave a 46 per cent ‘attrition rate’ – the percentage not started within three years – for 2017, according to the report, up from 33 per cent the prior year.

London First chief executive Jasmine Whitbread said: ‘Every year tens of thousands of new homes fall by the wayside, and the ongoing slide in planning permissions will only make things worse.

‘London’s housing pipeline appears to be cracked and, unless we get to grips with the housebuilding hold-ups, generations of Londoners will be priced out of a place to call home.

‘To tackle London’s housing crisis, boroughs must free up more land, government must enable more investment and developers must start building the homes we need.’

A spokesperson for London mayor Sadiq Khan said: ‘Since he took office, the mayor has been clear that one of his top priorities is building significantly more of the genuinely affordable homes Londoners so urgently need.

‘The level of affordable housing given planning permission has already increased dramatically from the low level of just 13 per cent of permissions toward the end of the previous mayoralty, to more than double that figure last year.

‘In recent months the mayor has made the case to the chancellor that more needs to be done at a national level to make sure planning permissions turn into new homes, and he hopes the current review commissioned by the government will give them the chance to support the sort of bold measures we need.’

A government spokesman said: ’We want to see homes built faster and expect house builders to deliver more homes and to a high quality standard. Our housing white paper set out a range of measures to drive up the delivery rate on planning permissions across the country.’

  • 3 Comments

Readers' comments (3)

  • One way to sort this problem would be to stop over complicating the job of the developer with counter-productive taxes and regs, like paying for affordable housing to be included in small schemes, say under 40 homes. The margins are not there to support it. These should be paid for out of general taxation if the desire is to create more affordable homes which are an essential social infrastructure. Developers already pay taxes like other businesses. This has been a fundamental problem since Ken Livingstone and Nicky Gavron introduced the affordable housing policies in the early 00s. They have had the opposite effect of that well-meant intention.

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  • John Kellett

    The principle reason for a 'London' housing crisis is the refusal of businesses to consider operating from outside London with better road, rail and airport connections to where they do business. My own home town is only one hour from London, many other cities and four airports. Property prices are low and the capacity for growth is already beginning to be discovered.

    The reduced costs of living here can easily cover the increased commuting costs anyway. The very reason I have been looking for work in London.

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  • MacKenzie Architects

    I agree with both earlier comments.
    I would also say that 3 years is too short a period for the planning approval to remain live -particularly with all these daft reports that are demanded.
    Put it back to five, what's the problem.

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