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Housing permissions down 17pc in Q1

Planning permissions for new housing fell by 17 per cent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period last year.

Just 37,800 new homes were approved in the period, compared to a quarterly requirement of 60,000 based on the government’s household projections.

However the figures do represent a 15 per cent increase on the snowbound final quarter of 2010.

The figures were revealed by the Homes Builders Federation as part of its quarterly Housing Pipeline report, compiled by business inteligence unit Glenigan.

They will further underline concerns that a lack of mortgage credit, planning changes and continuing uncertainty are strangling the industry despite growing local authority waiting lists.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said the report highlighted the need for further government action to help the sector.

He said: “The figures again make depressing reading as they suggest a continuing and significant undersupply of homes, adding to the already serious social and economic implications of our housing crisis.

“The government will soon consult on the most important planning proposals since World War Two.

“The figures we have published today clearly demonstrate why it has to get its planning framework right.”

Glenigan economics director Allan Wilén, said: “The modest rise in planning approvals during the first quarter has interrupted the downward trend in approvals seen during the previous nine months.

“However, while welcome, the number of dwellings approved is still down 17 per cent on the first quarter of 2010 and at 37,800 units only 58 per cent of the average number of approvals seen prior to the credit crunch.”

A full copy of the report is attached.

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