HOUSEBUILDING across the town is outstripping national figures, according to new data from St Helens Council’s planning team.

The Department of Communities and Local Government revealed recently that the number of new houses being built nationally in the year to March 2014 had risen by 31 per cent.

However, the number being built during the same period in St Helens rocketed by 90 per cent – with 766 additional homes now either completed or under construction.

Developments under construction in St Helens include housing estates at the site of Saints’ former Knowsley Road ground and the Triplex club in Eccleston and the former home of Pilkington Recs amateur rugby league club at City Road. Nationally, in the year ending March 2014, work began on 133,650 new homes in England.

Much of the increase has been attributed to the Government’s Help to Buy scheme – with house builders claiming it allowed them to “plan ahead” and rebuild confidence lost during the economic downturn.

However, the council suggests the new found confidence has been supplemented by local authority planners going out of their way to create the right conditions for developers.