Government publishes updated National Planning Policy Framework and Housing Delivery Test Figures
A revised NPPF was published on 19 February 2019, which details changes to planning policy and guidance. The key changes include the following:
Local Housing Need
The framework has been amended to specify that 2014-based projections will provide the demographic baseline for the standard method for a time limited period. The amendments also reflect the Government’s proposed approach to not allow the 2016-based household projections to be used as a reason to justify lower housing need.
Housing Land Supply
The amendments provide clarification to footnote 27 and the glossary definition of local housing need.
Definition of Deliverable
The glossary definition clarifies that housing sites which do not involve major development and have outline permission should “in principle” be considered “deliverable”.
The amendments to this paragraph reflect greater alignment with the Habitat Regulations.
“The presumption in favour of sustainable development does not apply where the plan or project is likely to have a significant effect on a habitats site (either alone or in combination with other plans or projects), unless an appropriate assessment has concluded that the plan or project will not adversely affect the integrity of the habitats site.”
The first round of Housing Delivery Test results was also published this week, with 108 Councils falling short and 86 required to add more land for housing to local plans as a result. For a number of authorities, this confirms the need to apply a 20% buffer to their housing requirement, with potential ramifications for their ability to demonstrate a five-year housing land supply.
However, no Council fell under the required 25% threshold. The next test, which is due in November 2019, will consider delivery rates between 2016 and 2019, with a raised threshold for the presumption penalty of 45% of delivery against the target, and in 2020 raised further to 75%, at which level it will stay in future years.