What new housing delivery action plans will mean for Councils that have to produce them

In November 2018, the first housing delivery test results will be announced by the Government.

The test measures the number of homes created by Councils against their housing requirement over a 3-year period. The draft NPPF explains that where the test indicates that delivery has fallen below 95 % of housing requirement, the authority “should prepare an action plan in line with national planning guidance to assess the causes of under-delivery and identify actions to increase delivery in the future”.

An analysis prepared by ‘Planning’ magazine suggests that 46 % of English local planning authorities will need to improve their housing delivery performance this year to avoid a penalty and may have to start preparing action plans. These plans must be published within six months of the publication of the delivery test results every November.

The action plans will have to go beyond the scope of annual monitoring and include reasons for under-delivery of housing in their area, therefore providing an opportunity for greater collaboration with key stakeholders, such as developers, landowners and infrastructure providers.

There could be a particular benefit to small developers to bring sites of 50 units or less forward to ‘plug the leak’ in a year or two, as larger sites would take longer. However, reality is that most Councils are already overstretched with lack of resources and intervention could take its time.

Author: Claudia Dietz

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