There are well over 1 million homes with planning permission waiting to be built, according to analysis just published by the Local Government Association.

Over the past 10 years, permission has been granted for nearly 2.8m homes, but in this time, just over 1.6m have been built.

The study has found that 9 in 10 applications are currently being permitted, suggesting that bureaucracy is not the cause of Government failing to achieve its aspirational target of 300,000 homes per annum.

The planning system is not the obstacle, it is the delivery system that needs to be changed. Local Government is saddled with housing targets, but in the main does not build the homes. Developers with permissions can landbank until it suits them to build out.  

With the Queen’s Speech next week, Councils are calling for reforms needed to tackle the housing crisis, which include:

  1. Councils should be able to charge developers full council tax for every unbuilt development from the point the original planning permission expires.
  2. Councils should have compulsory purchase powers to acquire stalled housing sites or sites where developers do not build out to timescales contractually agreed.

Government’s plans for the year ahead will be announced by the Queen on 11 May.


Over 1.1 million homes with planning permission waiting to be built – new LGA analysis | Local Government Association