NHF says 85,000 planned homes will not be built in England after a government decides to abandon local strategies

Almost 85,000 planned homes have been cancelled across England after a government decision to axe regional housebuilding targets, according to the National Housing Federation (NHF).

A report commissioned by the NHF has revealed that town halls substantially reduced plans for new homes after the coalition abolished the previous government’s regional building strategies. Only 123,000 homes were built in 2009/10, the lowest figure since 1923.

Eric Pickles, the communities secretary, dubbed the regional targets “a terrible, expensive, time-consuming way to impose house building.”

The region hardest hit by the decision is the South-west, where some 60,000 new homes have been cancelled.  

The NHF warned that the government’s failure to replace the regional targets with any clear transitional strategy could result in further slumps in housebuilding across the country, regardless of local demand for new homes.

David Orr, NHF chief executive, said: “It is frankly disappointing that so many local authorities have decided to revise down the number of homes planned for their areas. Local authorities need to recognise that just because regional targets have gone, housing need has not.”