“Developers hog land for record 130,000 homes, analysis reveals”

“Developers are sitting on land for more than 130,000 homes in England that have never been built – the worst gap on record, according to new analysis.

The record gap between planning permissions granted and new homes being built has led to calls for tough new penalties to be enforced against developers that sit on land rather than build.

… The analysis of housing ministry (MCHLG) figures showed that in 2016-17, planning permission for 313,700 new homes was given, but only 183,570 homes built, meaning a notional annual gap of more than 130,000 homes, the biggest divergence since records began in 2006.

The percentage of homes built versus permission granted was just 58%, a rate that has been roughly steady since 2012.

… Landowners sell at a price that factors in a significant increase in value after obtaining planning consent, meaning a hectare of agricultural land worth £20,000 can sell for closer to £2m if it is zoned for housing. Developers regularly deny using land to speculate, arguing more profit can usually be made from building.

Labour is considering a policy to give the Land Trust powers to buy sites at closer to the lower price, by changing the 1961 Land Compensation Act so the state could compulsorily purchase land at a price that excluded the potential for future planning consent. …”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/oct/25/developers-hog-land-for-record-130000-homes-analysis-reveals