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PR 24 - Planners welcome OFT review of the house building industry

22 June 2007

The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) welcomes the Office of Fair Trading's announcement today that they will be reviewing the house building industry. The review comes in the wake of the recent RTPI report, 'Opening up the Debate: Exploring housing land supply myths', launched at the RTPI's Annual Planning Convention on the 14 June 2007.

Kelvin MacDonald, RTPI Director of Policy and Research and joint author of the RTPI report said: \"We are very pleased to see the OFT looking into the role and structure of the house building industry, however we must be clear, like the planning system the industry is only one factor in tackling the housing crisis. It would just be plain wrong to blame any single issue.\"

The RTPI report, tackles issues of affordability and supply head on. Key new figures in the report show that house builders have banks of land with planning permission close to 14,000 acres, enough for 225,000 new homes. The report goes on to provide evidence on the relationship between land supply and house prices and forms part of the RTPI's evidence to the Callcutt Review of Housebuilding Delivery.

Latest Government figures show over the past 12 months starts have declined by six per cent to 173,400 while completions have increased by just three per cent to 167,700. Updated Government predictions show 223,000 new households will be formed per year between 2004 – 2026.

For further information please contact:

Andrew Kliman, RTPI Communications Manager, 0207 929 9479, mob. 07870 672 020

Kelvin MacDonald, RTPI Director of Policy and Research, 0207 929 9474

Notes to Editors
1. The full report can be found on

2. Latest house building figures can be found at:

3. Government figures on household estimates can be found at:

4. To book a free press place at the RTPI's Planning Convention please contact Andrew Kliman on the details above.

Further information on the Convention can be found at

5. The Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
The RTPI is a dynamic organisation leading the way in the creation of places that work now and in the future. We understand that just as people develop places, so places develop people. We are committed to the enhancement of our natural and human environment, using spatial planning to manage competing pressures on our built environments and the very real effects on our space. Through our members, we constantly seek to create areas and places in which people want to live and work.

As well as promoting spatial planning, RTPI develops and shapes policy affecting the built environment, works to raise professional standards and supports members through continuous education, training and development. The RTPI is the largest professional institute for planners
worldwide, with over 20,000 members.

For further general information, visit the RTPI website at:
41 Botolph Lane, London, EC3R 8DL, charity no. 262865