Developers are to be given more time to start building once planning permission has been granted, the government is expected to announce today.

The economic downturn has led to a decrease in the number of property companies building new houses, factories and offices even when they have gained planning permission.

Permits that are not used expire automatically after three years. However, John Healey, housing minister, is expected to announce in a speech to the Royal Town Planning Institute today that permits could now be extended for another three years through a simpler, cheaper process.

Financial Times