Planning applications in Redbridge drop by 13% during lockdown
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 October 2020
Applications for planning permission in Redbridge fell by 13 per cent during lockdown due to uncertainty.
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government data shows that 559 planning applications were submitted to Redbridge Council between April and June, down from the 642 received during the same period last year.
The council received 687 applications during the first three months of this year.
The Home Builders Federation attributed the drop to the precarious climate.
Local authorities across England received 88,000 planning applications between April and June — down by almost a quarter from the equivalent period in 2019.
Andrew Whitaker, planning director at the federation, said the “inevitable” drop has impacted the industry.
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“For several years investment by builders in their workforce and future sites has been running at record levels.
“The government remains committed to increasing supply still further and demand is strong, evidenced by the very strong recovery of the new homes market in recent months.”
Mr Whitaker added that councils’ commitment to granting permissions efficiently will be key to the industry’s post-pandemic recovery.
Redbridge Council made decisions on 400 applications between April and June; 269 were granted with 131 refused.
The green light was also given to 31 applications for minor housing developments (between one and nine homes).
David Renard, planning spokesman for the Local Government Association, said councils have kept planning on track throughout the crisis, but warned that fewer applications has resulted in a reduction in the fees that have been paid.
These fees — aimed at meeting the costs incurred by local authorities — are set nationally, though Mr Renard is adamant this should change. “The spending review should give councils the ability to set planning fees locally, with taxpayers currently subsidising nearly £180million a year to cover funding shortfalls.”
A ministry spokesman said: “We’re determined to build more homes quicker which is why we are overhauling our outdated planning system.”
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