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Fri October 23 2020

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Gleeson hits out at government planning policy

19 Nov 10 Housebuilder and developer MJ Gleeson Group has blamed a “policy vacuum” for difficulties getting planning consent to build houses.

“The policy vacuum created by the Coalition Government's failure to clarify the details of its proposed changes to the planning system is currently making it more difficult to obtain commercially viable residential planning consents,” the company said.

It added that this was also like to be inflationary: with planning permission becoming harder to attain, sale price are likely to rise. Selling prices on most sites have already improved ahead of management's expectations, the company said.

Gleeson reports that buyer interest has continued to improve in the past three months. Private completions are up 26% on the same period in 2009 and overall unit sales are up 47%. 

 Lack of mortgage availability remains a constraint to further sales growth. “The number of providers willing to offer high loan-to-value mortgages has increased in recent months, but such mortgages are still only a small proportion of what was available prior to the credit crunch,” the company said. 

Taking advantage of low land prices in the north of England, Gleeson has conditionally purchased five sites in the past three months and expects to be selling from all of these by the end of the financial year.  These acquisitions will add a further 282 plots to its land bank.  Further land acquisitions are anticipated during the remainder of the year.

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