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Extending Planning Permission - Government Cracks Down on Land Banking

In new measures soon to be implemented by the government, builders and construction developers will no longer be able to delay developments on land with planning permission and will be encouraged to use and develop land as soon as possible.

To promote the speed at which new houses are built and to avoid developers ‘sitting’ on usable land, it will soon be much more difficult to extend planning permission on land which is left being undeveloped or underused. A measure introduced in 2008 which made extending planning permission easy is due to be scrapped – as the government’s focus shifts from preserving economic integrity to accelerating the number of homes being built to keep up with demand.

It statistics recently released, there are said to be 400,000 homes that have not been built despite councils across the country granting planning permission for them.

The ease of extending planning permission has for years been exploited by companies and developers who wait until property prices rise to start building. It has been popular to delay developments up and down the country, and these new measures will seek to avoid valuable land sitting unused.

As shown in our recent blog post on the decrease in planning applications in the UK, the rising cost of living and the financial crisis of the last few years has taken its toll on the housing market and the speed at which new houses are built. In order to reverse this trend, it’s been recognised that prompt action needs to be taken – the Chelsea Barracks project (http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jan/28/qatar-halts-chelsea-barracks-scheme) is a prime example of a redevelopment scheme in the midst of doubt as the Qatari owners sit on the land while a number of controversial designs are being redrafted and replaced.

If you require any assistance or advice regarding planning permission, or want to know how these latest changes might affect your development, Kingsley Smith Solicitors are here to help. Our expert planning team can advise on a wide range of issues – contact us today via email or call us on 01634 811118.