New figures from HBF have shown that permissions in principle for over 195k new homes in England were granted in 2014, a 12% rise on the previous year and 39% up against 2012.The number o...

New figures from HBF have shown that permissions in principle for over 195k new homes in England were granted in 2014, a 12% rise on the previous year and 39% up against 2012.

The number of permissions for private homes was up 23%. Over the past 18 months, house building activity has increased significantly, with figures released last month showing the number of new homes started in 2014 was up 36% on 2012. As demand for new homes continues to increase, due to improved consumer confidence and the Help to Buy equity loan scheme, existing sites are getting built out quicker and so builders are looking to get on to more new sites more quickly than before. Stewart Baseley, Executive Chairman of the HBF, said: “Over the past 18 months, demand for new homes, largely driven by the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has increased markedly. Housebuilders have responded by significantly increasing house building activity. We are still only building around half the number of new homes the country needs. Getting the required number of permissions, in a timely manner, is absolutely key to the industry's ability to deliver. In addition more needs to be done to speed up the plots that are awaiting final approval to allow construction to commence. These figures are a barometer on potential future build rates. But to turn them into actual construction sites requires Local Authorities to processs them in a timely fashion to the stage when builders can build.

If we are to meet housing demand it is imperative that the planning system continues to evolve such that it delivers planning permissions at the rate required to address our housing crisis.

Increasing housing delivery will provide the high quality homes our next generation needs, support thousands of companies up and down the land and create tens of thousands of jobs.”