PPG: Housing Supply and Delivery update

Group News

Amongst the updates to the PPG published by MHCLG on 22nd July 2019 were a new section on housing supply and delivery. Some of the content this was covered previously in the section on Housing and economic land availability and assessment.

This section of the PPG covers the following:

  • 5 year housing land supply
  • Demonstrating a 5 year housing land supply
  • Confirming 5 year housing land supply
  • Demonstrating a housing land supply beyond 5 years
  • Calculating 5 year housing land supply
  • Counting completions when calculating 5 year housing land supply
  • Counting other forms of accommodation
  • Housing Delivery Test
  • Housing Delivery Test – Action Plans

Authorities should use the standard method as the starting point when preparing the housing requirement in their plan, unless exceptional circumstances justify an alternative approach.

The Housing Delivery Test measures whether planned requirements (or, in some cases, local housing need) have been met over the last 3 years.

The 5 year housing land supply is a calculation of whether there is a deliverable supply of homes to meet the planned housing requirement (or, in some circumstances, local housing need) over the next 5 years.

The new PPG sets out the evidence that may be provided to support the inclusion of sites within a local authority’s five year supply, this includes “firm progress being made towards the submission of a planning application for example”– a written agreement between the LPA and the site developer(s) which confirms the developers’ intentions on delivery such as start dates and build out rates. The emphasis is on firm progress and clear information,, for example about site viability , infrastructure provision.

Under the heading confirming 5 year housing land supply there is a paragraph which clarifies how a 5 yr housing land supply can be confirmed as part of the examination of plan policies.

“When confirming their supply through this process, local planning authorities will need to:

  • be clear that they are seeking to confirm the existence of a 5 year supply as part of the plan-making process, and engage with developers and others with an interest in housing delivery (as set out in Paragraph 74a of the Framework), at draft plan publication (Regulation 19) stage.
  • apply a minimum 10% buffer to their housing requirement to account for potential fluctuations in the market over the year and ensure their 5 year land supply is sufficiently flexible and robust. Where the Housing Delivery Test indicates that delivery has fallen below 85% of the requirement, a 20% buffer should be added instead.

Following the examination, the Inspector’s report will provide recommendations in relation to the land supply and will enable the authority, where the authority accepts the recommendations, to confirm they have a 5 year land supply in a recently adopted plan.”

Under the heading Demonstrating a housing land supply beyond 5 years- when is a stepped housing requirement appropriate for plan – making? – Strategic-policy makers will need to identify the stepped requirement in strategic housing policy in addition to setting out the evidence. Note that the stepped requirements will need to ensure that the planned housing requirements are met fully within the plan period. Also note that in this section if LPAs wish to identify priority sites which can be delivered early in the plan period e.g. brownfield sites and where there is supporting infrastructure in place e.g. transport hubs, this must be supported by evidence.

Under the heading Calculating 5 year housing land supply – there is a new paragraph How is 5 year housing land supply calculated in new local planning authorities which result from a local government reorganisation?

“Planning policies adopted by predecessor authorities will remain part of the development plan for their area upon reorganisation, until they are replaced by adopted successor authority policies or until the fifth anniversary of reorganisation.”

Under the heading Counting completions when calculating 5 year housing land supply the section on How can past shortfalls in housing completions against planned requirements be addressed? There is an addition paragraph:

“Where the standard method for assessing local housing need is used as the starting point in forming the planned requirement for housing, Step 2 of the standard method factors in past under-delivery as part of the affordability ratio, so there is no requirement to specifically address under-delivery separately when establishing the minimum annual local housing need figure. Under-delivery may need to be considered where the plan being prepared is part way through its proposed plan period, and delivery falls below the housing requirement level set out in the emerging relevant strategic policies for housing.”

There are also updates to the following sections:

Housing and economic needs assessment – added new paragraphs 031 and 032

Housing and economic land availability assessment – revised entire section

For more information on Housing Supply and Delivery, or if you’d like to find out more about Pegasus Group services please contact us.