Planning Consultancies continue to feel squeeze in the residential sector

With continual international economic uncertainty, the UKdomestic residential sector looks to continue to have a tumultuous time.  The Department for Communities and Local Government figures has recently released figures, showing that house building starts stood at 23,400 in the June quarter of this year, down 9 per cent on the previous quarter.

Housing completions also fell, from 29,020 in the first quarter of 2011 to 27,750 in the June quarter, according to the figures. The drop compares to a 23 per cent rise between the December 2010 and March 2011 quarters, the statistics show.

The lethal cocktail of the global economic situation, uncertainty in the housing market and forthcoming changes to planning legislation, collectively combine to create great uncertainty in the market. The loss of regional housing targets without implementing an alternate driver for housing did nothing to encourage house building.

The news Homes Bonus Scheme, which the government will hope to incentivise councils to encourage housing development, seems to run in direct conflict with the Localism Bill, which seeks to empower local communities. It is my experience that typically local communities are reluctant to encourage new residential development, as a typical housing development normally creates significant local opposition. One thing that I am confident about is that the future of planning and house building in theUK will be heavily impacted by the proposed government reforms, the success of which will become apparent in the future.

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