DEVELOPERS have been urged to “get a move on” and build nearly a thousand homes given the go-ahead by planning chiefs.
A housing crisis in Brighton and Hove means more than 20,000 people are waiting for housing across the city – and the number is increasing each day.
Planning permission has been granted for 828 homes but building has yet to start and a further 1,510 homes given the green light have been started but are yet to be completed.
Developers have been accused of stalling developments in a bid to reap bigger profits as the housing market booms.
Andy Winter, chief executive of Brighton and Hove Housing Trust, said: “I am sure that there is a wide consensus that, given the housing crisis in Brighton, every opportunity should be taken to provide new homes for purchase and rent.
“If any developer is sitting on land waiting for prices to increase further in order to maximise their profits, my message to them would be: move over and let others deliver the homes we so urgently need in Brighton and Hove.”
Conservative councillor Lynda Hyde said: “It is good news that over 1,500 new homes will be coming on to the market in the near future but I would hope that developers can get building these additional 828 as soon as possible.
“Not least because the council has just put the city’s valuable green ‘urban fringe’ under threat by identifying sites there for a potential extra 1,200 new homes, which it says are necessary to placate the Government’s planning inspector.
“However, these 828 homes that already have planning permission are all on previously developed brownfield sites. We believe brownfield sites should always be developed wherever possible before greenfield ones are even considered.”
Brighton and Hove City Council did not want to comment on the figures – but advised that developers must commence construction within three years of being granted planning permission.
Labour leader Warren Morgan said his party was “fully in favour” of measures that ensured housing was built on brownfield sites.
He added: “That’s why Labour nationally have pledged to take action against developers hoarding land and I welcome the fact that the local Conservative group have recognised this as one of the issues behind our housing crisis.
“The Conservative government is all in favour of building more houses, but to benefit developers not those looking for affordable homes. We want to see more of these new houses going to local people on average or low incomes, not buy-to-rent landlords and people escaping soaring house prices in London.”