Sharp rise in councillors citing community opposition as key threat to housing delivery

The number of planning committee members citing community opposition as one of the biggest challenges to housing delivery has risen by 23 per cent over the past year, according to a poll of local councillors across England.

Rising numbers of councillors believe build out rates are impeding housing delivery. Image: Flickr / James Hirlehey
Rising numbers of councillors believe build out rates are impeding housing delivery. Image: Flickr / James Hirlehey

Communications consultancy Newgate Communications surveyed 344 planning committee members in England. 

The survey found that 41 per cent of this year's poll respondents cited community opposition as one of the biggest challenges to housing delivery, up from 18 per cent in 2018. 

The number of councillors citing slow build out rates by developers as a major obstacle to housing delivery is up 14 per cent, compared to last year, to 65 per cent. 

22 per cent of committee members cited lack of resources in the planning team as one of the biggest challenges to housing delivery, up from just four per cent in 2018.

Meanwhile, the survey found that two-thirds of planning committee members said they that had voted against officers’ recommendations more than three times in the last year. 

Forty-three per cent of committee members said they would support a green belt review - unchanged from last year. However, just 15 per cent of councillors believed a green belt review would secure the support of local residents. Support for green belt reviews was highest in the North West at 59 per cent and lowest in London at 24 per cent.

The full survey results can be read here. 


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