London councils failing to approve planning apps

Sarah Davidson

January 15, 2016

London’s planning approval rates are falling short of government targets with just 69% of applications across the capital’s 32 boroughs being approved in the third quarter of last year.

Just 5,740 new homes in absolute terms were approved, research from Stirling Ackroyd suggests.

At that rate, this gives an annualised rate of 22,950 approvals for 2015 meaning the 42,000 yearly figure required to meet the latest government housing targets stretched further out of reach.

Approval numbers declined by almost a third (29%) from Q2 2015 and fell a massive 52% from the annualised rate of 47,460 approvals granted in Q1.

In absolute terms there were 8,280 applications for new London homes in Q3 2015, with 5,740 granted permission.

At the end of the housebuilding process, throughout Q3, 6,430 new homes were completed – the highest number in 2015 so far.

By contrast Q1 2015 saw just 5,420 completions and was followed by Q2’s total of 5,370. Despite this marginal improvement, completion numbers are still significantly behind required levels – standing at an annualised rate of 25,720.

Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said: “Approvals simply aren’t stacking up. No, No, No is being heard far too often and it can’t continue.

“A sustainable and realistic approach is needed in order to make sure new homes are being built – and London’s housing crisis tackled by the horns.

“The Chancellor may have seemed to initiate the first stage of changes in his Autumn Statement, but in reality it’s still an overwhelming task. And tackling London’s perilous planning departments is the first step.”

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