Press release

Boost for aspiring homeowners as planning permissions hit 8-year high

New figures show number of planning permissions for homes rose 6% on a year earlier.

Building plans

New figures published today (8 March 2016) show that the number of planning permissions for homes rose 6% on a year earlier, as housing measures continue to turn the market around and build more homes for hard working families and first time buyers.

The number of major applications being processed swiftly by local authorities is also at an all-time high with a record 81% decided within the required time.

It means the number of planning permissions granted for homes in 2015 was the highest since 2007.

According to analysis of Glenigan data also published today permission was granted for 253,000 homes during 2015.

Government figures show that as well as rising numbers of planning permissions for homes, the number of permissions granted overall between October and December 2015 was 4% greater than a year earlier, with councils granting 92,000 decisions.

Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said:

We’ve brought the housing market back from the brink with more than 700,000 new homes delivered since 2010 and a further one million granted planning permission.

Today’s figures are further good news for hard-working families and first time buyers wanting to achieve their dream of home ownership with constructions rates up and plenty of homes in the pipeline.

The reformed planning system and National Planning Policy Framework cut more than 1,000 pages of guidance to around just 50, simplifying the process for obtaining planning permission whilst maintaining safeguards for the countryside.

The government is currently moving ahead with its landmark Housing and Planning Bill, which will help deliver on its ambition to build a million more homes.

Measures include:

  • new affordable Starter Homes – a new legal duty will be placed on councils to guarantee the delivery of Starter Homes on all reasonably sized new development sites, and to promote the delivery of Starter Homes in their area
  • permission in principle for sites identified in plans and brownfield registers – to give certainty around the sites that are suitable for housing, while protecting the green belt
  • planning reforms to support small builders – requiring councils to ensure they have permission shovel ready plots to match the local demand for custom build

Figures released recently as part of the English Housing Survey showed that more than a decade-long decline, starting in 2003, in the number of people owning their home has been turned around with more than 14 million owner occupiers in the country last year.

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Published 8 March 2016