Deluge of cancelled homes condemned

The equivalent of 1,300 homes a day have been scrapped since the coalition government gained power in May, according to research unveiled this week.

The National Housing Federation (NHF) warned that the revocation of regional spatial strategies and axing of house building plans will mean around 300,000 planned homes will be ditched by local authorities across the country by this time next year.

NHF research by Tetlow King shows that allowing councils to ignore regional targets has already resulted in around 160,000 homes being dropped.

The NHF also blamed the collapse in planning for house building on the redesignation of gardens as greenfield sites and the abolition of the density directive, which ensured developments had to deliver minimum numbers of homes.

It complained that councils are abandoning work on local plans and using the "rushed" changes to the planning system to turn down applications for "desperately needed homes that might previously have been approved".

Since the planning changes were announced, almost 70 councils have halted work on development plans, reduced previously planned housing numbers or delayed planning inquiries at appeal.

Chief executive David Orr said: "The slew of changes to the planning system has sent a signal to local authorities that building new homes is not a priority - that building new homes is a nice-to-have, not a necessity."

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