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LGA Calls for Action on Slow House Builders
The Local Government Association is calling for housing developers who fail to build after planning permission has been granted to be forced to pay council tax on unconstructed homes. Currently more than 475,000 new homes in England and Wales are awaiting construction having been granted planning permission, an increase of 25% in the last five years.
Research by information specialists Glenigan, on behalf of the LGA, found that it now takes an average 32 months for work to begin on a site receiving planning permission, a full year longer than in 2008.
Housing spokesman, Cllr Peter Box said; “New homes are badly needed and councils want to get on with the job of building them. If we are to see a genuine end to our housing crisis we have to be given the powers to get on with it. These figures conclusively prove that the planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding. In fact, the opposite is true, councils are approving almost half a million more houses than are being built, and this gap is increasing.”
The LGA which represents 370 local authorities also want to see a greater role for councils in housing delivery and measures taken to address the skills gap amongst workers which many experts claim is delaying construction. While the government is hoping to increase housebuilding to 200,000 a year, figures from the Office for national Statistics show only 152,250 homes were completed in 2014-15.