Home builders accused of being 'greedy'
MORE than 3,000 homes are waiting to be built in and around Bristol, new figures reveal.
The homes have all been awarded planning permission, many in areas with acute housing shortages.
But no work has started on 3,058, the Local Government Association has said.
An MP criticised "greedy" developers for holding back on building in the hope they they could "cherry pick" prime greenfield land.
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It comes as ministers propose relaxing planning laws to stimulate developments, a move conservationists fear will mean a new threat to Bristol's green belt.
There is a backlog of 1,508 new homes in the Bristol City Council area, the LGA revealed. Work is under way on a further 2,610.
Planning permission has been given for 855 homes in Bath and North East Somerset, 457 in North Somerset and 238 in South Gloucestershire that have yet to materialise.
Kingswood Tory MP Chris Skidmore pointed to the long-running saga of the Emersons Green East development in his constituency.
He said: "Let's build on the areas where developments have been granted, rather than being held to ransom by developers who hold back in order to grab some of the green belt.
"They want to cherry pick sites. They should not be greedy.
"It's vital that we push forward on these developments, and it's quite simply unfair on people who want to live there."
The LGA said the figures should "lay to rest the myth" that the planning system had to be ripped up to meet housing targets.
Its chairman, Sir Merrick Cockell, said: "These figures conclusively prove that local authorities are overwhelmingly saying 'yes' to new development. Even if planning departments did not receive another new home application for the next three years, there are sufficient approved developments ready to go to last until 2016, at the current rate of construction."
Meanwhile, the Campaign to Protect Rural England has highlighted what it says are threats to the green belt around Bristol.
It pointed to the new South Gloucestershire core strategy, which plans to create two new urban areas in green belt land near Cribbs Causeway and Harry Stoke, and a 1,500-space park and ride development near "high quality agricultural land" by the M32.
Bristol's new link road would "cut a swathe through green belt land" at Ashton Vale, the CPRE said, adding that the road could be a "Trojan horse" for the return of previous development plans.