During the past five years out of all homes approved to be built one in three have not been completed.
According to the newest findings by the housing and homelessness charity Shelter, more than 320,000 homes have not been completed despite being granted residential planning permission.
Shelter have said that ordinary working families are bearing the brunt of the issue of “phantom homes”.
An estimated 68% of homes with planning permission have been completed over the past five years, Shelter calculated.
The problem is even worse in London where a shocking one in two homes with residential planning permission have not been completed.
The Home Builders Federation (HBF) has said that the delays in planning mean permissions can take years to process to the point where construction can start.
David O’Leary, policy director at the HBF, said: “Housing supply is up by more than 50% in just three years, with the overwhelming contribution coming from national house builders.”
Shelter has included a one-year time lag between a home being given the go-ahead and the build being completed when making its calculations, if it didn’t the number of homes not built would have been significantly higher.
The charity claims that the country’s house-building system encourages developers to drip out new homes, rather than build them all at once, to keep prices high.
They are calling on the Government to “get tough” and hand the powers over to council to tax those developers who do not build fast enough and grant planning permissions based on their track record.
Anne Baxendale, head of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, said: “House builders are trickling out a handful of poor-quality homes at a snail’s pace, meaning there are simply not enough affordable homes and ordinary working families are bearing the brunt.”
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