40% of homes granted planning permission go unbuilt – CPRE comment

Commenting on new research from Shelter, which exposes that hundreds of thousands of homes granted planning permission haven’t been built, Tom Fyans, campaigns and policy director at CPRE, the countryside charity, said: ‘The backlog of building in the midst of a housing crisis is one of this generation’s untold scandals. The figures released today provide yet more evidence of the fatal flaws in the government’s planning reforms, which are blinkered by unreachable housing targets regardless of quality, tenure or genuine affordability.

‘Unless there is a major change of direction from the government, we risk more poor-quality homes that do nothing to tackle the housing crisis or the nature and climate emergencies. The government urgently needs to give councils more powers to set stringent, enforceable deadlines for homes to be built, and to require more affordable homes that meet local needs, especially in rural areas where shortages are particularly acute.

‘Instead, the government’s planning proposals threaten to make things even worse by disempowering councils and handing more power to developers. Our communities deserve so much better.’