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15th January 2018
London & Quadrant Housing Trust had the largest number of proposed new homes in the planning pipeline last year according to exclusive new research from Glenigan.
The study, which covers detailed applications of 10 or more units submitted by registered social landlords (RSLs) during 2017, shows that London & Quadrant’s pipeline rose 65% to 2,729 units.
In 2016, L&Q submitted plans for 1,649 units and was ranked second behind Genesis, where the planning pipeline contracted by 2% to 1,698.
In 2017, Genesis slipped to third place after being overtaken by the newly created Clarion group.
A merger between Affinity Sutton and Circle last year created Britain’s largest RSL with a development programme of 50,000 units.
In 2016, Affinity Sutton did not feature amongst the top 15 RSLs by planning pipeline, while Circle submitted plans for just 339 homes according to Glenigan’s research. With the merger to create Clarion sealed, the newly enlarged group sent in detailed planning applications to build 2,562 units in 2017.
After a drop-off in activity in 2016, the planning programme also picked up at Notting Hill, which applied to build 716 units in 2017. This was up 7% on 2016 but the number of units proposed last year was still 35% smaller than the pipeline for 2015.
Glenigan’s economics director Allan Wilen commented: “This research bears out Glenigan’s expectations that some affordable housing groups will hold off on expanding their planning pipelines to focus in the near-term on safety maintenance work to existing estates in the wake of the tragic events of the Grenfell disaster.”
The study also highlights significant differences in the types of new-build social housing being planned by the country’s biggest RSLs.
Genesis may have lost top spot in the planning table but the group is still developing more houses through the planning pipeline than any other RSL.
In 2017, 64% of proposed new units were for some form of house. In 2016, this measure was 63%.
In contrast, the proportion of proposed new houses in the planning pipeline at L&Q shrank from 16% in 2016 to 14% last year. At Clarion, this ratio was even smaller at just over 7%.
The diminished position of RSLs within the wider construction industry is evident in Glenigan’s latest rankings of the top 100 clients, where the number of RSLs featuring has halved.
This ranking, which requires clients to have let three or more contracts to external contractors, has Notting Hill as the highest ranked RSL in 50th place after letting £158.8 million-worth of work.
Places for People is 54th after letting £149.2 million-worth of work and Orbit in 84th with orders placed totalling £105 million.
The only other RSLs amongst the industry’s top 100 clients are One Housing in 92nd after letting £95 million-worth of work and L&Q at 97th with awards totalling £91.8 million.
In 2016, Notting Hill and Hyde were in the top 50 and Network, Peabody Trust, Metropolitan Housing Trust, L&Q, Asra, Affinity Sutton, Circle and Catalyst were also in the top 100, which illustrates the contraction in spending by RSLs.
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