60 Seconds: fake news



60 Seconds: fake news


It makes a good headline: ‘Greedy developers are hoarding land with planning permission’. Everyone from Sajid Javid to Shelter have made the accusation.

The latest to jump on the bandwagon is the Local Government Association which claims there is more than 400,000 plots with planning permission which remain un-built. They are probably right.

So with one swoop, those greedy developers could solve the housing crisis overnight. But that’s only half the story.

A really nice piece or research commissioned by Barratt shows that on average it takes 1.7 years to complete the post-application phase after permission is granted. And this goes to 3.2 years for sites of 150 homes or more.

Philip Barnes, Barratt’s Group Land and Planning Director, says: “Pre-commencement conditions, Section 106 agreements, and a lack of planning department resources are the primary causes of the delay.”

The research commissioned by Phillip Barnes can be found at this link: https://cweconomics.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/CWEconomicsReport_Land_Banking.pdf

And where do these figures used in the report come from? Ironically…it’s the LGA. It’s all very well slagging off housebuilders and getting a quick headline but what can be really done to solve this ‘crisis’?

There are a couple of radical options.

One is to allocate a fixed sum of money to ‘sponsor’ an officer to see the application through the various conditions. This person would be available for fixed times and be given a fixed deadline – agreed with the Council – to get the details sorted out. Most housebuilders would happily cough up.

The second is for the DCLG (or whatever the acronym is now) to give councils targets on how long they can take on an application. Funding could then be withdrawn from any miscreants.

Whatever the answer, public disparaging of the people who can solve the housing crisis is not helpful.

Have a great weekend.


74ef4445-92f1-4058-b48f-bd7745d33f08The week ahead

Young, Dumb and Living Off Mum
Young middle earners are struggling to get on the property ladder

Barratt Gives Germany Das Boot
Barratt is considering moving construction block production from Germany to the UK.

Drop In The Ocean 
Dominic Raab announced £45m to deliver 7,000 council houses this week, around enough for 8.5 days supply.

Who Wood Have Thought It
Tokyo is set to get the world’s tallest wooden tower, standing at 350 metres.

And Finally…

Golden Poledies
A care home in Dorset has been criticised for bringing in pole dancers as entertainment for the residents.

Curtin&Co specialises in the fields of Community Consultation and Political Engagement, especially around development, and Reputation & Crisis Management.

Curtin&Co has grown rapidly to a team of over 20 highly qualified political, community engagement and reputation management specialists, having been founded by Tom Curtin in 2009.  In 2016, Curtin&Co was delighted to be listed in PR Week’s Top 150 Public Relations consultancies at number 86 and in the Top 10 Public Affairs consultancies at number 8; a recognition of the quality of the service and growth achieved.

To find out more visit www.curtinandco.com or call Helen Barrett on 0207 399 2288