BNP Paribas – Local Plans Short of 51,000 Houses a Year Nationally

The fourth annual BNP Paribas report on housing targets suggests a shortfall of around 51,000 this year between local plan housing levels and the household projections baseline used in previous reports.  To maintain comparability they didnt use the latest household projections, but if they did the gap reduces to around 26,000/annum (though this increases affordable housing need).

Here is a summary 

Labours plans on Landbanking – Telegraph


Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, will say companies sitting on land while waiting for the price to rise must “use it or lose it” under moves to ease the housing shortage.

In a speech in Birmingham, he will suggest that building firms should be fined if they refuse to develop land that has been given planning permission. Councils could also be given “compulsory purchase” powers to buy back sites that lie empty for years, despite having been approved for development. The proposals will be examined as part of Labour’s policy review and could feature in the party’s next election manifesto.

Planning permission has already been granted for 400,000 homes across the country, equal to a city the size of Birmingham, but they have not yet been built, in a practice known as “land banking”.

The Labour leader is concerned that property prices have risen too high, making homes unaffordable for many young working families.

He believes that homes must be built across the country but the priority should be to develop land that already has planning permission, rather than seeking to build on new greenfield sites.

In a speech to Labour’s National Policy Forum, he will say that the “promise of Britain” – that each generation does better than the last – has been broken because young people cannot afford their own homes.

“For decades now, Britain simply hasn’t built enough homes,” he will say.

“The result has been that the prices of houses and flats have gone up, even in these difficult economic times.

“Working people in their twenties will now have to save for 30 years before they can afford a deposit for a new home.

“That leaves millions of young people unable to get that start in life that their parents’ generation took for granted.”

Mr Miliband will acknowledge that some land banking is needed to maintain a supply of new building sites.

More info in the Independent

Property firms which buy land as an investment and fail to develop it would face tough penalties under a Labour government in a drive to raise levels of house-building.

They could receive heavy fines or tax demands from local councils and even the threat of compulsory purchase orders as a way of forcing them to develop the land.

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, will claim Britain is in the grip of its worst housing crisis for a generation, exacerbated by unscrupulous developers hoarding land in the hope that its value will grow because of property shortages.

Across the country, planning permission has been granted for 400,000 homes which are yet to be built and in London 45 per cent of undeveloped land is held by companies that do not carry out construction work.

At the same time demand for property is outstripping supply – about 100,000 homes will be built this year in England, about half the number needed.

In a speech tomorrow to the party’s national policy forum, Mr Miliband will signal that house-building would be a key priority for an incoming Labour government and announce that developers would come under pressure to “use or lose” the land they have accumulated.

Options being considered include giving councils the power to fine companies that own swaths of undeveloped land or to require them to pay council tax or a “land tax” on undeveloped areas. As a last resort developers who refuse to build could find themselves facing a compulsory purchase order.

Mr Miliband will say: “We have to be willing to confront some of the obstacles to house-building.

“Across our country there are firms sitting on land waiting for it to accumulate in value and not building on it – landowners with planning permission who simply do not build. We have to change that… permission to build should mean landowners build.”

The Labour leader will argue that the move would instantly mean more homes being built without an extra cost to the taxpayer, providing a shot in the arm to the economy and creating jobs.

He will point to research by the housing charity Shelter which concludes that it can take couples up to 11 years to save the deposit for a home and take single people up to 30 years.

A series of initiatives have been announced by the Government in an attempt to stimulate house construction. It includes a £10bn loan guarantee scheme to encourage developers to start building, £3.5bn of which is being targeted at housing associations to build properties to rent out to poorer families.

Boles gets his own national policy wrong in criticising ‘use it or lose it’ policy on landbanks #NPPF

Boris Johnson has in recent weeks proposed a ‘use it or lose it’ policy in the review of the London Plan to prevent excessive landbanking, now Ed Milliband has picked up on it.

BBC News

Labour says permission has been given for 400,000 homes that have not been built

Labour is considering giving councils more powers to make landowners go through with building projects, in an effort to tackle the housing shortage.

Leader Ed Miliband will say too many developers with planning permission for projects are “sitting on land” while it gains value instead of building on it.

The party is looking at giving local authorities in England “use-it-or-lose-it” powers over developers.

The government said confiscating land “will not help build a single house”.

Mr Miliband will use his speech to Labour’s National Policy Forum to say planning permission has been granted for 400,000 homes in England that have not been built.

Too many developers are holding on to land while it gains value, rather than pushing ahead with projects for which they have permission, he will argue.


In his speech on Saturday, Mr Miliband will say “obstacles to housebuilding” must be overcome.

He will add: “Across our country, there are firms sitting on land, waiting for it to accumulate in value and not building on it. Landowners with planning permission, who simply will not build. We have to change that.”

Mr Miliband will also say: “All options should be on the table, including giving local authorities real power to say to the worst offenders that they should either use the land, or lose the land.

“Permission to build should mean landowners build. If there is unnecessary hoarding, developers should be encouraged to do what they are in business to do, build houses.”

The Labour leader will admit that governments over the past few decades have failed to deal with the issue of housing shortages.

This has pushed up prices, preventing millions of young people from buying a home, he will add.

Planning minister Nick Boles said: “Yet again Ed Miliband is too weak to offer a coherent policy. Most normal planning permissions already expire after a three-year period and councils don’t have to renew them.

“Labour clearly learnt nothing from its failures in government as 400,000 homes represents less than two years’ worth of the number of new homes that we need to build. And confiscating any land from development will not help build a single house.”

But no you cant.  Firstly under the NPPF there is a presumption in favour of development, a double presumption in cases where there is no 5+ year supply.  Secondly the only way you could make a use it or lose it consent stick is with a permanent and personal consent, wheras circular 11/95 expressly does not allow this having a presumption in favour of renewal.  (paras 95 and 108-113).  I have lookked into this in some detail for a number of authorities.

Boles again confuses stock and flow with teh issue of landbanking.  Certainly iof we were building enough housing per annum then the stock opf landbanking would be much higher, however if as now allocated and consent schemes were left idle for 10, 15 years or longer the stock of landbanked homes, and numbers of permissions granted, would have to be much higher.