Mark Wadsworth

This is a spare 'blog in case my main 'blog at markwadsworth.blogspot.com isn't working

A Triumph Of The New Localism

The whole idea behind The New Localism was to appeal to NIMBYs, around eight or ninety per cent of the population, the sub-text being that it would be much easier to object to planning permission and councils would be able to turn down planning applications for the flimsiest of reasons.

And it seem to be working:

Planning permissions for new homes granted in the first quarter show a year-on-year fall and are now at around half the level of five years ago.

Permissions for fewer than 34,000 new homes were approved in Q1 in England, compared with 40,000 in Q1 2010 and against a quarterly housing requirement of nearly 60,000 based on the Government’s household projections.

The Home Builders Federation said there is an ‘acute housing crisis’ which the Government must address. Last year, the lowest number of homes were built for 90 years…

The rest of the article is a quote from the chairman of the Homebuilders Federation complaining that the government is being too restrictive, which seems fair enough, until you remember that the home builders are guilty in all this as well. When house prices fell sharply in 2008 and 2009, they expected them to bounce back, so they were quite happy to mothball all their construction projects and then finish them off when house prices had risen again.

Unfortunately, we don’t know the missing figure, which we would need to apportion the blame, which is the number of planning applications. If the home builders are still putting in as many applications as they did five years ago, but only half as many are being approved, then The New Localism is to blame; if home builders are only putting in 34,000 applications a quarter and all are being nodded through, then the home builders themselves are to blame.

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