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Just one new home being built for every six residents in Norwich

PUBLISHED: 18:15 13 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:15 13 November 2017

Norwich has been ranked the fifth fastest growing city in the UK but in five years saw only 1420 new homes built, states a new report out today.

Norwich is the fifth fastest growing city but just one new home is being built for every six residents, a report states today.

This compares with the fastest growing city, Belfast, which is building one new home for every 23 residents – which the report says shows how development can’t keep pace with population growth.

Over 2011-16, Norwich saw growth of 6.4 per cent, 8529 people, in which time 1420 new homes were built.

Only Blackpool and Blackburn are building faster than their population is growing - but that’s because these destinations are shrinking, states the report.

Ross Andrews, director of Minerva Lending, which commissioned the report using ONS, Office for National Statistics, said: “We’ve known for many years that the housing supply situation in Britain is poor but this road to ruin of inadequate building is going to end the dream of home ownership for many millions of people over the next 20 years.

“With the budget just two weeks away, the chancellor should consider extreme measures to boost building before the housing crisis we all recognise spirals further out of control.”

In Britain’s second fastest growing city, Coventry, the population expanded by 35,951 in five years but just 5,390 homes were built in that time. That’s one new home for just under seven new inhabitants.

London ranks sixth as the fastest growing city with the capital’s population expanding by 7.5%, or 613,951 people, between 2011 and 2016. But again, property development is lagging sharply behind with just 124,020 new homes built over the entire five-year period — one home for every five new inhabitants.Paul Le Grice, managing director of Norfolk house builder Abel Homes, said: “It is not just a case of needing to provide homes for everyone, vital though that is. Infrastructure such as schools and doctors’ surgeries need to keep up as well; increasingly we will need to view development as a holistic process.

“At the moment, the slowness of the planning process means that we are not keeping up with where we need to be, as these figures show. There is a definite lag between housing need and housing delivery; even now there is a lot of land in either the planning or construction process that will deliver many more homes in the next few years. Demand for new homes in the county will continue to grow, due to many factors: not just people moving to the county, but young single people seeking their own home, partnership break-ups, people living longer, and smaller household sizes – these all play a part.”

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Caroline Culot

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I am the property editor in charge of delivering some exciting and informative content within Archant’s varied titles. We have 16-17 pages of stories, features and columns in the EDP Property supplement out every Friday free in your EDP so please don’t miss it.