Greedy developers sitting on land for 1 million homes despite housing crisis

The Government is under pressure to tackle greedy developers sitting on land for a million homes as the housing crisis continues to grow.

Chris McLaughlin 

Critics say builders are hoarding “land banks” until they can make bigger profits.

And councils are demanding powers to force them to build on the sites or sell up using compulsory purchase orders.

The Local Government Association says 1,003,600 homes given approval are unbuilt. It comes as charity Shelter says the social housing waiting list has hit 1.6million, with 280,000 homeless.

The Covid crisis could force thousands more into homelessness while official figures say 4,500 people will be sleeping rough this Christmas. David Reynard, LGA housing spokesman, said the system was “broken”.

And Labour’s Shadow Housing Minister Mike Amesbury, said: “Some greedy developers have to be told to get building.

“The Government has to give councils the teeth to ensure land owners are forced to use it or lose it.”

The Home Builders Federation insists some sites are not “deliverable”.

But a Housing Department spokeswoman said: “Compulsory purchase can play an important role in supporting housing development – we plan to consult on reforms to improve this process next year.”