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Work yet to commence on almost 5,000 homes with planning approval across 59 sites in Babergh, report reveals

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House building. Stock image (13394578)
House building. Stock image (13394578)

Nearly 5,000 homes which have planning permission in Babergh have yet to be built, it has emerged.

Data published for Babergh District Council last week revealed 4,703 homes had yet to be built in Babergh across 59 stalled sites.

The council has now agreed a housing delivery action plan to help kick-start stalled sites, and prevent developments approved in future from resulting in similar delays.

Stalled sites are those which have planning permission, but have been delayed from work commencing.

In some cases, they may only have outline permission – which agrees to the principal of building – but the details do not come forward, while some have planning permission which is close to elapsing.

A host of reasons can be behind the delays, such as archaeology finds, developers sitting on sites in order to wait for them to become more profitable, or delays in agreeing contributions and legal agreements for local infrastructure.

Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “A significant number of homes in Babergh have outline planning permission and are just awaiting the submission of reserved matters.

“Each site is unique in terms of what may enable it to move forward, and our officers are working with landowners, housebuilders and other stakeholders to understand what can unlock sites.

“There are also many things the council can do to help the situation. We have purchased affordable houses on some sites which has enabled the market element to move on more quickly, and we are also bringing forward development through our own growth companies, including at Angel Court in Hadleigh.

“We anticipate developing at least 200 houses through our own companies over the next three years which, along with the steps laid out in our action plan, will make sure we deliver the homes our residents need in the right places.”

The action plan has 23 points to help tackle the issue, which includes finalising the local plan, engaging with developers to tackle problems sooner and quicker sign off on legal agreements and contributions.

A Babergh spokesman added that among the schemes awaiting reserved matters applications are more than 1,000 planned homes at Chilton Woods in Sudbury.