Architecture planning permission

A new report has suggested that planning permission for new homes is not being granted in areas that are actually suffering from the biggest housing shortages.

The research, conducted by Savills, found that only 20% of planning consents granted in 2016 were in the UK’s least affordable areas, despite them accounting for 40% of the country’s housing needs. The report estimated that there is a deficit of 90,000 granted planning consent in such areas, while more affordable locations are seeing a surplus.

“This means we are not building enough homes in areas where they are most needed to improve affordability and support economic productivity,” the report said.

The damning report also looked at the attitude of local authorities regarding the housing shortage. It found that only 41% have a concrete plan that addresses local housing needs and provides a full five year plan for dealing with them.

Happiness divide houses

There has been a 56% rise in the number of cases where planning permission has been granted in the UK since the National Planning Policy Framework was introduced in 2013. However, the Savills report claims that this has not occurred in the correct areas.

The report classified the UK’s most unaffordable areas as being where the lowest priced homes available cost 11.4 times the average income. London, as well as much of the south east of England, falls into this category: according to the report, these areas have a deficit of 73,000 cases.

Looking at the potential impact of the Housing Delivery Test, which was announced last February in the Housing White Paper, Savills concluded that it would double the need for housing in London to over 100,000 homes.

“There continues to be a massive shortfall in London and its surrounds and it is this misalignment of housing need versus delivery which could ultimately hinder economic growth,” said Chris Buckle, Savills Research Director

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Submitting a planning permission application is a necessary step for starting many major home improvements, such as conversions and renovations. There are a number of reasons which could cause an application to be denied, especially if the property in question is listed or is in a conservation area. 

To have a better chance of having planning permission granted, it is always advisable to discuss your home improvement plans with a structural engineer or architectural designer. A local specialist will have a good understanding of how local planning applications are considered and what yours will need to take into account. At the very least, they will provide you with more exact and concrete plans to make your application with.

If you are not sure whether you need planning permission for your project, contact your local authority and speak to a representative.