Taking Stock: The geography of housing need, permissions and completions


Taking Stock

The geography of housing need, permissions and completions

03 Jun 2021
The relationship between the scale of planning permissions for housing and the number of homes built is regularly debated, but not always well understood.
Taking Stock – a research report commissioned by the Land Promoters and Developers Federation and the Home Builders Federation - explores how the pipeline of sites for housing development compares with what might be needed to meet the Government’s ambitions to deliver 300,000 net additional homes per year, taking into account how delivery varies across different parts of England. The topic does not lend itself to simple analysis. It requires a reconciliation of the available data (and an acknowledgement of its real limitations) with an understanding of what often happens to development sites after they secure permission, and then – crucially – looking beyond national figures to see how the situation varies between different parts of the country. The report concludes that many parts of the country – particularly those with greatest problems of affordability – have a shortage of planning permissions to meet the Government’s estimates of housing need.
The report clearly demonstrates that we are not currently granting anywhere near enough planning permissions to meet the Governments housing target. It also shows that for such a key Government objective, the way housing permissions are monitored is wholly unsatisfactory and does not provide a basis to make reasoned policy decisions.

Andrew Whitaker, Planning Director, HBF

This research highlights what we in the industry have realised for some time now, which is that the level of planning consents is not sufficient, especially in certain areas of England, to meet the demand for new homes.

Paul Brocklehurst, Chairman, LPDF