Speaking at the National House Building Council on 24th November, communities minister Sajid Javid explained that the government could no longer justify creating development sites that are then not used.
Mr Javid claimed that in 2012 permission was granted for more than 195,000 homes. Three years later, 40,000 of those homes had still not been completed.
“If you own land and you don’t want to build on it, well, that’s your decision to make,” Mr Javid conceded.
“But you can’t expect me and the government to go out on a limb and not see a return.
“If you want us to pull out all the stops to create the sites, you have to build on them.”
Mr Javid suggested that big housebuilders bore some of the responsibility for the lack of housing supply.
The MP expressed his desire for developers to help reduce the permission gap, while simultaneously raising the build-out rate.
“I think I’ve shown that, here in government, we’re doing everything in our power to give you, the housebuilders, the tools you need.
“All I ask in return is that you use them.”