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The property planning shortfall in England could grow to 180,000 over the course of the next parliament unless local authorities work together, it is claimed. The planning system is not delivering housing where need and market demand is greatest, according to a new analysis from real estate firm Savills. Its shows that the number of homes planned by local authorities in England is likely to result in a shortfall of around 36,000 homes a year, unless local planning authorities take greater account of housing need both within and beyond their boundaries. ‘Failure to cooperate on housing requirements across local authority boundaries is likely to result in an accumulated planning shortfall of 180,000 homes over the next five years. This is before we consider what house builders and other developers can deliver relative to these targets,’ the report points out. Figures shows that last year building starts reached 136,000 in England. However, according to analysis undertaken on behalf of the Town and Country Planning Association (TCPA), at least 240,000 new homes a year in England are needed from now to 2031. The greatest requirement is in London and the South East where the property market has been strongest. However, the Savills analysis shows that these are the areas where the deficiency in the number of homes being planned is likely to be the greatest. Housing targets adopted so far are 80% of the corresponding Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) figures across the country. ‘A continuation of this trend would result in a shortfall of 26,000 homes a year in the south and east of England, including London. This figure equates to 74% of total housing shortfall for the whole of England,’ the report says. Of a total 114 local authorities in the south and east of England, 31 or 27% have neither an adopted local plan nor a recent SHMA published since the National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) was introduced in 2012, the report points out. Yet these local authorities currently accommodate a quarter of all existing households in the region and will face pressure to meet the requirements for housing emerging from London and surrounding local authorities,’ it adds. The 31 local authorities without post-NPPF local plans include Sevenoaks, Elmbridge and Epping Forest. These are strong housing markets where over 50% of the authority is designated as green belt. Shortfalls are less pronounced in the North, Midlands and west of England. Assuming targets adopted by the local authorities that still lack a post-NPPF plan are 80% of their SHMA, the annual planning shortfall could amount to 7,349 homes in the Midlands and west of England and 2,038 in the North. Despite the increase in planning permissions towards 200,000 homes per year in England last year, 20,000 were granted through appeal. A closer analysis reveals persistent problems in maintaining an adequate supply of land for housing and that this problem is most notable where the level of housing need is greatest. Continue reading →
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