Planning permission should be revoked from land-bankers, says report

Oct 17, 2013 in Uncategorised

Land owners could soon lose planning permission on projects which take too long to be completed.

A report conducted by local think-tank Localis has suggested that councils should be given the powers to retrospectively remove planning permission after a certain period of inactivity, so more homes actually get built.

According to, it was also suggested that local authorities should be able to issue fines and remove compulsory purchase order powers in this situation too.

There are roughly 400,000 homes in the UK that have not yet been built – despite receiving planning permission.

The report, which is available to read on, claimed that many developers were deliberately leaving prime land empty whilst its value rises – a process call ‘land-banking’.

It said: “Findings showed that the average period between planning permission being granted and building completion had increased to nearly two years. This not only delays development which is essential to national growth, but a shortage of viable sites can lead to speculative development, rendering the process of identifying and consulting on prime sites a wasted effort.”

It was also suggested that council staff are too over-worked to make these sorts of improvements to legislation. More than half of the council leaders polled as part of the report said “time and capacity” was the biggest barrier to improving their service.