The latest Housing Delivery Test (HDT) results show that in 55 Local Planning Authority (LPA) areas in England there was a failure to deliver at least 75% of the number of homes estimated by the government to be needed in their area over the past three years.
These LPAs will face the most severe of three levels of penalty following the publication of the results on 19 January 2021 by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
The figure is a significant increase over the 8 LPAs that faced the most stringent sanction under the previous 2019 test and reflects a failure in many areas to ramp up the delivery of housing in line with the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It is important to note that the results have been adjusted to only account for housing delivery prior to covid-19 restrictions which came into effect in March 2020.
The consequence is that when determining planning applications for new homes, these LPAs now face the powerful ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’. Otherwise known as the ‘tilted balance’, for planning permission to be refused this requires adverse impacts of approving the development to ‘significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits’ of granting planning permission.
Whilst there are some exceptions to the application of the tilted balance*, this otherwise provides an opportunity for speculative planning applications for housing on non-allocated sites to be submitted and potentially approved in these areas.
Three LPAs near to our Nottinghamshire office are affected by the HDT generated presumption in favour, these are:
- Erewash Borough Council;
- Ashfield Borough Council; and,
- Gedling Borough Council.
Furthermore, Broxtowe Borough Council are affected by the second of the three penalties; an additional 20% buffer added to the housing land supply.
If you have any questions about the opportunities arising from HDT or housing land supply more generally, our experienced team would be more than happy to discuss with you.
*for example where development conflicts with policies relating to Green Belt, National Parks, AONB, SSSI or Listed Buildings. For a full list refer to footnote 6 to paragraph 11 of the 2019 National Planning Policy Framework.
Source: MCHLG and Savills 2021