In a bid to reduce the scope for local and neighbourhood plans to be undermined by changing the way that land supply for housing is evaluated, measures in the government’s housing white paper have been taken.
Sajid Javid, the Communities Secretary has launched fixing our broken housing market on the 7th of February, saying it signifies a “bold, radical vision”.
Included in ‘Building homes faster’ (chapter 2 of the white paper), is a proposal that will see a new housing delivery test to ensure that local authorities and wider interests are responsible for their role in safeguarding that new homes are delivered in their area.
This test will be emphasizing weather the number of homes being built is below target, as well as providing a mechanism for establishing the reasons why, per the paper.
Where essential, the test will “trigger” policy responses with the aim of guaranteeing that further land will come forward.
In order to transition to a housing delivery test, it has been said by the government that it would use an up to date area’s local plan, to create the fitting baseline for evaluating delivery.
In the case of there not being an available up-to-date local plan, the government would use:
“published household projections for the years leading up to, and including, April 2017-March 2018 and from the financial year April 2018-March 2019, subject to consultation, the new standard methodology for assessing housing need”.
Onwards from November 2017, if the housing delivery is to fall below 95% of an authority’s annual housing requirement, the government wants the local authority to publish an action plan.
Also, included in the proposals of this chapter are:
- Boosting local authority capacity and capability to deliver,
- Improve the speed with which planning cases are handled,
- Improve the quality with which planning cases are handled.
It has been stated by the government that they want to ensure infrastructure is provided in the right place at the right time.
This will be done by the “targeting” of the £2.3 billion Housing Infrastructure Fund that was announced in the Autumn Statement 2016, as well as coordinating its investments.
Per the white paper, the government will be in support of developers to build out more quickly.
This will be done by facing “unnecessary delays caused by planning conditions” and considering a new approach to how developers contribute to infrastructure.
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