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UK Planning Controls and the Market Responsiveness of Housing Supply

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  • Michael Ball

    () (Department of Real Estate & Planning, University of Reading Business School)

Abstract

There is growing international interest in the impact of regulatory controls on the supply of housing The UK has a particularly restrictive planning regime and a detailed and uncertain process of development control linked to it. This paper presents the findings of empirical research on the time taken to gain planning permission for selected recent major housing projects from a sample of local authorities in southern England. The scale of delay found was far greater than is indicated by average official data measuring the extent to which local authorities meet planning delay targets. Hedonic analysis indicated that there is considerable variation in time it takes local authorities to process planning applications, with the worst being four times slower than the best. Smaller builders and housing association developments are processed more quickly than those of large developers and small sites appear to be particularly time intensive. These results suggest that delays in development control may be a significant contributory factor to the low responsiveness of UK housing supply to upturns in market activity.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Ball, 2008. "UK Planning Controls and the Market Responsiveness of Housing Supply," Real Estate & Planning Working Papers rep-wp2008-13, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:repxwp:rep-wp2008-13
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    File URL: http://www.henley.reading.ac.uk/rep/fulltxt/1308.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Cheshire, Paul & Sheppard, Stephen, 2002. "The welfare economics of land use planning," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 242-269, September.
    2. Paul C. Cheshire & Christian A.L. Hilber, 2008. "Office Space Supply Restrictions in Britain: The Political Economy of Market Revenge," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 118(529), pages 185-221, June.
    3. Hilber, Christian A. L. & Rouwendal, Jan & Vermeulen, Wouter, 2014. "Local economic conditions and the nature of new housing supply," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 61872, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    4. Saks, Raven E., 2008. "Job creation and housing construction: Constraints on metropolitan area employment growth," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 178-195, July.
    5. Bertaud, Alain & Malpezzi, Stephen, 2001. "Measuring the Costs and Benefits of Urban Land Use Regulation: A Simple Model with an Application to Malaysia," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 393-418, September.
    6. Rose, Louis A., 1989. "Urban land supply: Natural and contrived restrictions," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 325-345, May.
    7. Cheshire, Paul & Sheppard, Stephen, 2004. "Land markets and land market regulation: progress towards understanding," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 619-637, November.
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