On 2nd March, Chapman Lily Planning heard first hand from Gavin Barwell, Minister for Housing, Planning and London on how the Government propose to ‘fix the broken housing market’.
The Minister provided a brief summary of the Housing White Paper, setting out the four tenets of the Government’s housing policy: Planning for the right homes in the right places; Building homes faster; Diversifying the market; and, Helping people now.
The Minister set out two key changes to planning policy he believed would have a real impact on housing delivery. Firstly, he confirmed the proposal to define a national methodology for ‘objectively assessed need’ – the process for determining how many housing need – which, whilst not mandatory, if followed by a Local Authority would not be open to challenge at Examination of the Local Plan. This, the Minister contended, would both speed up the preparation of Local Plans and could help avoid some authorities artificially depressing their assessed housing needs.
In seeking to deliver the housing that this country needs, the details of this methodology, and its uptake by local authorities, will undoubtedly be hotly anticipated.
The Minister introduced the new Housing Delivery Test. The Government is proposing to widen the powers available where a local authority’s housing delivery falls below certain thresholds. From November 2017, if delivery falls below 95% of the annual housing requirement, local authorities will be required to publish an action plan for delivery, and if delivery falls below 85%, the authority will be expected to plan for a 20% buffer on their five-year land supply.
Chapman Lily Planning were pleased to see that the Minister had a clear grasp of the housing issues and the Minister encouraged people to respond the current consultation , which is open and runs until 2nd May.
You can read the White Paper in full and respond to the public consultation here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/housing-white-paper and we at Chapman Lily Planning would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this.