PROPERTY developers in Labour-run local authorities are more likely to have planning applications granted than those in Conservative areas, research claims.
Peer-to-peer property platform Lendy found the gap between Labour-led and Conservative-led councils’ residential planning application approval rates is now almost twice as wide as it was before the 2010 election – hitting 11 per cent last year.
This is up from a six per cent gap in 2009.
Conservative-led local authorities granted just 77 per cent of all residential property planning applications they reviewed last year, compared with 88 per cent by Labour.
Before the 2010 election, Conservative and Labour authorities granted 63 per cent and 69 per cent of applications respectively.
Lendy says that 16 of the 20 local authorities with the highest refusal rates for residential property planning permission were Conservative-led, with just 44 per cent of applications in Conservative Tandridge in Surrey granted and 45 per cent in East Dorset.
The platform suggested one of the main reasons for the disparity is that Conservative-run local authorities are likely to receive more applications for building in underdeveloped, affluent and greenfield locations, which are likely to attract more opposition from locals.
“These figures suggest that, despite pressure from central government, many local authorities are still making it hard for new homes to get built,” Liam Brooke, co-founder of Lendy, said.
“Some progress has been made in the last decade, but there are too many roadblocks for developers, not least councils that refuse planning permission because they fear nimbyism.
“Property developers may want to look into a local authority’s approval track-record when selecting potential sites, as they may be more likely to run into obstacles in some areas than others.
“Alternative finance is beginning to help fill the funding gap that has opened in the property development market, but if local authorities don’t get behind developers, there will never be enough spades in the ground to make a dent in the UK’s housing shortfall.”