Figures released in the Home Builders Federation and Glenigan's latest Housing Pipeline indicate that over 195,000 new homes received planning permission in 2014, marking a rise of 12 per cent on the previous year and 39 per cent on 2012.
The number is the highest seen since 2008, with the private sector seeing a growth of 23 per cent in permissions in comparison to 2013.
As the number of sites gaining planning permission continues to trend upwards the growth is seen evenly across the country. Many of the rise was seen in the final quarter of 2014, with approvals leaping by 20 per cent. Glenigan said that on top of these figures, there are a further 150,000 sites sitting in the online permission stage and awaiting full sign off from local authorities.
Home Builders Federation executive chairman Stewart Baseley said: “Over the past 18 months, demand for new homes, largely driven by the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has increased markedly. House-builders have responded by significantly increasing house building activity.”
He added that while the high numbers are promising, the UK was still seeing a shortfall in the number of houses built each year by around half. It is thus key for not only planning permission to be a streamlined process, but also that more is done to ensure that construction can soon begin on those still waiting on final approval.
“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,” Baseley concluded.