London property prices rocket as red tape stops builders easing housing shortage

Tim Wallace
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London construction work takes place on a new city centre residential high-rise
It takes 25 weeks to get a major building project approved in London – almost twice the government’s target length of time, GL Hearn and the British Property Federation (BPF) said today.

House prices have rocketed by around 20 per cent in the capital in the past year, in large part because of a lack of supply of housing, so the red tape slowing down construction is delaying building to ease the problem.

The official target for planning applications is 13 weeks, and the study found 71 per cent of applicants are unsatisfied with the planning process. Even 62 per cent of local authorities believe the system needs reform.

“The length of time that major developments spend stuck in the pre-application process, is something that is not picked up in any official figures, and needs to be looked in to,” said BPF chief executive Liz Peace.

“It is also clear that the Community Infrastructure Levy needs further reform, as it continues to cause both local authorities and developers consternation, and in some places further delays the delivery of important schemes.”

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