With two thirds of approved building projects either dumped or stalled, the government is taking aim at the planning gain deals that local authorities have extracted from developers – of the type that goes: ‘build us a leisure centre and you can build your houses’.
It is thought that many of the quid pro quo deals accepted by developers five years ago have become uneconomic in the wake of house prices falling or flat-lining.
Local authorities have granted planning permission for more than 480,000 plots in recent years. Work has started at fewer than a third of these – just 136,700. Projects have been scrapped at more than 81,000 sites and suspended or delayed at 226,000.
According to The Telegraph, communities secretary Eric Pickles is sending troubleshooters into 13 local authorities to see if renegotiating any Section 106 planning gain deals could pave the way to getting projects back on track.
Mr Pickles reportedly said: “Tackling problems with stalled development is essential to getting builders back on mothballed sites and building the homes we need. There is huge potential in sites to boost local economies and we simply cannot afford to have them lying idle.”