House crisis to worsen as fewer homes get go-ahead

Housebuilding at its lowest since the 1920s while 5 million are on council waiting lists

Britain faces a worsening housing crisis as a dysfunctional planning system delivers new homes at just half the pace needed to match demand, an industry body will warn today.

The Home Builders Federation's (HBF) figures show planning approvals were granted for 32,900 homes between July and September, down 10 per cent on a year ago and running at little more than half the pace required to keep up with official estimates of UK household growth over the next 20 years.

The figures are in stark contrast with the boom years of the housing market in 2006 and 2007, when more than 60,000 homes were given the go-ahead on average every quarter. But the toxic combination of a mortgage lending drought, a deep recession, and planning uncertainty has seen housebuilding plunge to its lowest levels since the 1920s while some 5 million people languish on council waiting lists.

The HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley warns: "Building the homes we need would take millions off social housing waiting lists and enable beleaguered first-time buyers to buy their own home. It could also create half a million new jobs, so giving the country a huge economic boost."

Planning approvals so far this year are down 17 per cent on 2010 and average just 33,280 per quarter against 38,500 last year, the HBF's figures show. The worst-hit region was Scotland, where approvals are down by 38 per cent so far this year, although other regions, including the Midlands and the North, have also seen double-digit declines.

The worsening housing shortage comes at a time when lenders' demands for much bigger deposits are locking hundreds of thousands of would-be homeowners out of the market, as well as forcing up the cost of scarce rental properties to record levels as rock-bottom interest rates allow more families to hang on to their homes.

Housebuilders have cut back on building to reflect the mortgage lending drought and tackle debts built up in the boom, while the Coalition also threw the planning system into limbo last year by scrapping regional housing plans under its localism agenda.

July's draft National Policy Planning Framework (NPPF) won more support from the industry by including proposals to speed up the system with a presumption in favour of sustainable development. But a committee of MPs will today warn the the NPPF risked tilting the balance too far in favour of the developers. Labour's Clive Betts, the chairman of the Communities and Local Government Committee, says the new framework's default approval for schemes should be stripped out of the proposals and called for extra time for councils to adopt their own local plans.

He says: "The way the framework is drafted currently gives the impression that greater emphasis should be given in planning decisions to economic growth. This undermines the equally important environmental and social elements of the planning system."

Housebuilders hit out at the committee's recommendations, which Mr Baseley says would "risk creating additional barriers to housing delivery".

He adds: "Our figures demonstrate clearly why Government must stand firm and deliver a robust planning system that provides enough land to meet the nation's housing needs. The committee's report appears to discount the seriousness of the housing crisis."

News
Shoppers at Selfridges department store in central London
news

News
Jeremy Paxman has admitted he is a 'one-nation Tory' and complained that Newsnight is made by idealistic '13-year-olds' who foolishly think they can 'change the world'.
peopleFormer Newsnight presenter is being touted for a brand new role
News
Michael Buerk in the I'm A Celebrity jungle 2014
people
Voices
File: David Cameron offers a toast during a State Dinner in his honour March 14, 2012
voicesAnd nobody from Ukip said babies born to migrants should be classed as migrants, says Nigel Farage
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Avatar grossed $2.8bn at the box office after its release in 2009
filmJames Cameron is excited
Arts and Entertainment
Stik on the crane as he completed the mural
art
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
Sport
Brendan Rodgers seems more stressed than ever before as Liverpool manager
FOOTBALLI like Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
The Magna Carta
archaeologyContemporary account of historic signing discovered
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
Sport
Benjamin Stambouli celebrates his goal for Tottenham last night
FOOTBALL
Life and Style
Dishing it out: the head chef in ‘Ratatouille’
food + drinkShould UK restaurants follow suit?
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

Argyll Scott International: 2x Service Desk Analyst

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: Service Desk Analyst Re...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Execution Trader

£30000 - £250000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global Rolling Spot FX, Comm...

Citifocus Ltd: ACA - Financial Reporting

£Attractive Package: Citifocus Ltd: Chartered accountant (ACA or CPA), must be...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game