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Applications for new homes being approved in Havering falls

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 May 2016

Town Hall

Town Hall

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Just 10 per cent of applications for new homes in Havering were approved in the first quarter of this year.

New figures from estate agents Stirling Ackroyd show that permission to build 37 homes out of a possible 353 was given between January and March this year.

By comparison, in Barking, 94pc of applications were accepted in the first three months of 2016, with the figure standing at 38pc per cent in Redbridge.

Last year, in the same time period, 568 new homes were granted permission to be built, an approval rate of 91pc, the report shows.

Havering Council said the low figure was because a planning application for 290 homes to be built in Hornchurch was rejected.

NHS Property Services applied last year for the homes to be built on the old St George’s Hospital site, in Suttons Lane, Hornchurch.

But in March, the application was refused on the grounds that the size and density could have an impact on the “openness” of the green belt land next door

Now the application has been resubmitted and will go before the regulatory committee, with a revised number of 279 homes to be built on the site.

Hornchurch estate agent Julian Hall warned that the shortage in approvals for new homes could mean rental prices increase.

He said: “There has also been an increase in people being reluctant to sell, possibly because Crossrail will arrive soon.

“This could mean people will be stuck renting, as they don’t have the option to purchase new affordable homes.”

Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said the approval rate was too low, and leading to an “immoral shortfall.”

He said: “It’s a sluggish and disappointing start to 2016, which should be a year of real progress.

“In an election year, the most frustrating side to the slow pace of planning departments is that London has the drive, capacity and ability to take control of its housing problems.

“The number of homes are falling to new lows, contributing to a completely unfair and immoral housing shortfall.”

“But for just 10pc of applications to be accepted in Havering, if this was applied to the whole of London, would be entirely unsustainable. The capital is in crisis.”

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