Yet again we hear stories of Developers’ land banking and failing to build on land where they have been granted permission. The North West is amongst the worst areas for this failure to build. Not as bad as London where holding onto land and sitting back and watching the value soar is rife. But the Northwest is now in second place. Across the country we have 423,000 houses waiting to be built, claims the Local Government Association.
In Bunbury we certainly have plenty of planning consents, currently running at 88. A large block (30) having gained permission in 2015. Although this can be misleading as it doesn’t make clear when the planning process began. Wyche Lane (The Grange) may have had the final go ahead in 2015 but the original application was granted in July 2014 (14/3163N). The Outspan development in Sadler’s Wells had consent in June 2014 and took over two years to clear reserved matters on the initial outline planning permission. The developers made a number of changes and introduced an additional house plus some extra garages. (See the comment on this in ‘Many a slip from outline to completion’;.
What this shows is that much of the delay is not due to the planning process. The creep starts in many cases after the consent is given and is down to alteration and changes of mind that follow the original consent. The strategy of going for outline planning consent often gives the developer considerable advantage to alter the design and size of the development. The decisions are in the hands of the (often overworked) Planning Officer and the apparent tendency to agree to frequent ‘non-material changes’ end up altering the site radically from what was originally up for consideration. It is this process that often causes the slow development of site and the delivery of new homes.