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Housing: Construction

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN HL248, tabled on 17 May 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the analysis by the Local Government Association, published on 20 February 2020, which found that more than a million homes granted planning permission in the past decade have not yet been built; and what plans they have empower local authorities to incentivise developers to expedite the building of housing already granted planning permission.

Answered on

1 June 2021

As the Local Government Association have themselves stated, in some cases there are legitimate reasons as to why development stalls. Perhaps, for example, the landowner cannot get the price for the site they want, or the development approved is not viable, or supply chain constraints hinder starting. Sir Oliver Letwin highlighted in his 2018 review on the topic, building on the work of Dame Kate Barker and many others before them, that, as such, the often-repeated idea of housebuilders ‘sitting on’ land is overstated.

Nevertheless, this Government is clear that new homes should be built out as soon as possible. Where build-out is delayed, it is for councils and developers to work closely together to overcome any barriers. To ensure this happens, we are exploring further options to support faster build-out as part of our proposed planning reforms.