Builders blame council red tape for UK’s shortage of new houses

Tim Wallace
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COUNCILS are attaching onerous conditions to planning permissions, holding back construction work and so stopping builders from meeting rising demand for houses, the Home Builders’ Federation (HBF) warned today.

Rising prices and tweaks to the planning rules have prompted a rise in permissions – the first six months of 2013 saw 77,686 granted, up 26 per cent on the same period of 2012 – but red tape is still a problem, the group argued.

Permissions are well short of the 220,000 per year the HBF says are needed to meet demand.

“At a time when developers are looking to build more much needed homes, we are increasingly concerned by the conditions attached to many of these permissions that prevent actual work starting on site,” said HBF chief Stewart Baseley. “Local authorities must ensure planning conditions are not overly onerous.”