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Surge in planning permissions could put homes at risk

Robyn Hall

December 11, 2012

In partnership with DevAssist the report revealed 98,020 new home developments were started in the 12 months to September 2012, 47% below the peak in March 2006.

Martin Edwards, planning barrister, said: “After the government’s Housing for Growth policy statement announced on 6th September it is clear that the acute housing shortage will lead to planning authorities looking more closely at all sites with development potential. Identifying those sites provides solicitors with the opportunity to add real value to the service they provide for their clients.”

This growing pressure on the UK housing stock has led the government and local councils to move development to the top of the agenda.

The proportion of approved planning permission applications reached a 10 year high in 2011 leading to a current backlog of 400,000 new homes which are yet to be completed.

The clearance of this backlog is likely to be accelerated by the government’s announcement of a £661m cash payout to England’s 353 councils as a reward for delivering 142,000 new homes and bringing 13,000 long-term empty properties back into use.

The shortage has left 85% of urban properties at risk of developments being built within 75 metres of their boundaries as planning red-tape is cut and councils try to ease the pressure on the housing stock.

The report, DevAssess, which is available through SearchFlow, combines current planning information with professional opinion to provide homebuyers and solicitors a comprehensive analysis regarding future development risks within this radius.

Richard Hinton, business development director of SearchFlow, said: “Selecting and buying the right home can be a lengthy and costly process. Once a new home has been chosen it is becoming increasingly important that any potential changes within the surrounding area are reported before proceeding with the purchase.”

Hinton said the impact of new planning proposals could be substantial.

“Views may be ruined and enjoyment of the property may be reduced,” he said. “And the value of the property may also be affected either positively or negatively. This report will enhance due-diligence and allow buyers to make a more informed decision before they purchase.”


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