The housing market has reawakened in many parts of the UK as consumer confidence has improved and long frustrated house purchasers have sought to trade-up or buy their first home. This revival has heightened the debate over the consequences that long term under-supply of new homes is having on the cost and access to housing and the threat to sustained economic growth.
I want to share with you an article by ”The Telegraph” published 11-Aug-2014, where they are talking about current pressure on green belt, and strong demand for development sites in the UK.
New housing volumes have been increasing. The government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) appears to helping developers to bring more sites forward for development. However, the rising volumes are also amplifying the debate over the location of new developments. Demand for development sites is strong and set to grow even further as the UK economic recovery gathers momentum. As demand grows, potential pressure on Green Belt locations is likely to intensify.
Glenigan analysis of recent planning applications for English Green Belt sites in the report Greenbelt under development, prepared exclusively for The Daily Telegraph, reveals some striking trends. While on the face of it, overall Green Belt planning applications and approvals have been relatively stable over the last five years, the number of residential projects securing approval is on the rise.
In reality Green Belt land has never been a ‘no development zone’. Overall, some 4,700 projects secured full planning consent during 2013/14; a 16 per cent increase on 2009/10, but 7 per cent down on the 5,050 approvals granted in 2011/12. The vast majority of approved planning applications are for non-residential schemes, with 72 per cent of planning approvals in 2013/14 for non-residential developments. Farm buildings accounted for a quarter of all planning consents.
However, a growing proportion of projects are for new residential developments – especially for schemes of three or more units. Last year saw the approval of 5,600 new homes on the Green Belt, compared to just 2,260 in 2009/10, a 148 per cent increase over the five-year period.
Of these, 834 projects in 2013/14 were for one or two unit schemes, typically in-fill and ‘self-build’ projects. This compares to 657 in 2009/10. Developments of three or more homes account for a growing majority of residential units built on Green Belt sites.
In 2009/10, 87 projects secured approval for 1,600 homes. Approvals have risen progressively over the period with 227 projects approved in 2013/14 – a 161 per cent rise over the five-year period.
Furthermore, the average size of the successful projects has risen. A total of 4,773 homes were approved in 2013/14, a 198% rise on five years ago, with the average number of units per development rising from 18 to 21 units
The success rate for new build residential planning applications for three or more units on greenbelt sites over the last five years is 62 per cent, slightly lower than the English average of 69 per cent for residential applications. This approval rate appears to be in part attributable to a lower proportion of applications being withdrawn (7 per cent) than the national average (12 per cent). In contrast, the refusal rate is higher, at 31 per cent, compared to the English average of 19 per cent.
Strikingly, the approval rate appears to be higher for the larger developments. As a result, on a unit basis, three-quarters of residential units were approved during the five years to 2013/14, with only 18 per cent refused. The lower withdrawal rate for Green Belt schemes is likely to reflect the complexity and cost of successfully bringing forward a Green Belt site into development, with developers only advancing projects that they believe have a good chance of success.
Glenigan analysis shows that Green Belt sites still account for a very small proportion of all residential planning approvals. In 2013/14, 1.6 per cent of planning approvals for schemes of three or more homes were on the greenbelt land. However, the number of new homes involved is growing. As the economy recovers and demand for new homes increases, so will the potential pressure for the release of more the Green Belt sites.
Factors listed below are definitely are playing positive impact when considering land as an investment, and making LAND – Your ideal investment choice.
- UK housing market recovery
- Increasing housing volumes
- Demand for development sites
- Growing proportion
- The success rate for new build residential planning applications on greenbelt sites
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