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Planning system hinders completions at Croudace

FINANCE

COMPLETIONS at Croudace are set to remain static this year as the Caterham-based house builder is restrained by the planning system.

Croudace sold 334 homes in 2005 but this level will not move much this year.

Managing director Russell Denness said: 'The market's not bad but physical completions are only going to be at 340 or 350 units and that will be the effect of delays on planning. Why would we sit on the land? It costs us money.'

The average price of the private homes sold by Croudace was £247,000, with the units sold to housing association's off-loaded for £118,000.

It made sales of 461 homes at an average price of £227,000 in the 15 months to December 2004, when the group changed its financial reporting period to a calendar year.

Croudace, which has a consented landbank of 1,000 plots, made an £8.2 million pre-tax profit in 2005 against £11.7 million in the previous 15 months on turnover of £93.3 million compared to £126.3 million.