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Councils put the brakes on home building, report reveals

Despite the urgent requirement for new properties to fulfill the ever-growing need for new homes, it seems that planning departments up and down the country haven't received the memo.

According to an investigation undertaken by the Times, nearly a quarter of a million planning applications have not been processed on time for six years.

Not one council could admit to processing every application on time, and one in 16 was failing to get even 50% out of the door on time! A third only managed to get a third through in the statutory three-month time limit.

The paper sent Freedom of Information requests to every planning department in Britain, which revealed that many departments are reducing staff members, with some officers only working two days a week, contributing to a build-up of backlog.

This backlog is having a severe impact on new homes, with more than 25% of small development applications (of fewer than ten properties) taking over two months to be stamped and sent back.

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