Back to Basics: Housing Need and Delivery

 

From 25 January 2019 (although see here for our commentary on the ambiguity surrounding the actual date), local planning authorities must use the new standard methodology for assessing housing need set out in the National Planning Policy Framework published in July 2018 (“NPPF”). As part of our ‘back to basics’ blog series, this blog post explores:

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Deadline for examination of plans under the old NPPF – 24 or 25 January 2019?

This Thursday is 24 January 2019, a hotly anticipated date in the planning world because this is the date referred to in the revised National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”) as the date after which the policies in the revised NPPF will apply for the purposes of examining local plans. Paragraph 214 of the NPPF states that the policies in the old 2012 NPPF will continue to apply to the examination of plans submitted “on or before 24 January 2019“.

However, a technical consultation (‘Technical consultation on updates to national planning policy and guidance’) published by the government in October 2018 states at paragraph 20 that:

… The use of the standard method applies to plan-making for plans submitted on or after the 24 January 2019 [our emphasis]. Any period specified for using the 2014-based projections would use this as the start date.

Paragraph 21 of the technical consultation goes on to say that:

… there are approximately 50 plans that will be submitted for examination in 2019. Any of these plans that are submitted on or after the 25 January 2019 [our emphasis] will be required to use the standard method to inform strategic housing policy.

Our view is that the adopted NPPF must take precedence over a consultation document, even one published after the NPPF, and therefore it is clear that the policies in the old 2012 NPPF will continue to apply to the examination of plans submitted on 24 January 2019, notwithstanding the inconsistency in the dates referred to in the technical consultation. However, local authorities who want to be absolutely sure should submit their plans for examination before Thursday if possible, ie tomorrow. Continue reading

Revised National Planning Policy Framework—will it fix the housing market?

This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Planning on 9 August 2018.

Will the government’s new planning rulebook deliver on its promises? Robert Walton, barrister at Landmark Chambers, says the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a step in the right direction and should result in more houses. Matthew White, partner and head of the planning team in Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s London office, predicts that, by itself, the revised NPPF will not streamline the planning process, nor close the gap between planning permissions and housing delivery. Continue reading

Impact of revised National Planning Policy Framework

The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 24 July 2018. This post considers what difference it will make – in terms of the impact on developers, whether the government’s aims will be achieved and how soon its effects might be seen.

Impact on developers

On the whole, policies in the revised NPPF are more restrictive. Tighter controls over design standards, green belt boundaries, developer contributions and viability appraisals, stronger protection for the environment and the introduction of the “agent of change” principle to new development all provide little incentive to bring forward development.

A welcome change, however, is that LPAs should now take a more flexible approach to daylight and sunlight issues.

The new standardised methodology for calculating housing need, which takes effect immediately, represents a significant change for residential development. It will provide more certainty on housing requirements in each LPA’s area, generally with an increase in housing targets. Local authorities’ success in delivering against these targets will be assessed by the new Housing Delivery Test. From November 2018 local plans will be deemed out of date if the LPA fails to deliver 25% of its housing target as assessed by the new standardised methodology; this threshold will increase in subsequent years to 45% of the target from November 2019 and 75% of the target from November 2020. If local plans are deemed out of date the presumption in favour of sustainable development will be brought into play, increasing the likelihood that planning permission will be granted. Continue reading