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The Government’s Housing Goal Will Not Be Met

by Paul Addison on August 14, 2019 1 comment

It has been suggested that the government’s goal of delivering 300,000 homes per year will not be met using the current process for calculating housing need.

Presented in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) last year, the planning consultancy Lichfields had evaluated how the ‘standard method’ would meet the governments targets, through calculating the minimum number of dwellings each council should plan for.

To achieve the goal of 300,000 homes a year, the government needs to deliver more than the minimum, as this will deliver only 273,000 homes.

Lichfields have recognised that, “it is early days”, but say;

“its research highlights the warning signs that plans are not currently setting out to deliver what is needed”.

Of the 64 authorities with submitted or draft plans identified in the NPPF;

  • 34% are doing more than the standard method,
  • 16% are doing less,
  • 50% are matching it.

41% of the authorities planning for more homes say that economic growth is a great motivation for doing so.

The report notes that;

  • Three northern regions are anticipated to see an increase of 13%, which is 2,100 houses.
  • The South East and the East of England could see a net reduction of 6% (900 homes).
  • London will see an annual shortfall of 11,000 homes with the Mayor of London’s current target.

It has been noted that London is problematic, as this underperformance will require an uplift of between 14% and 20% from elsewhere in order to deliver the 300,000.

If London continues at the current rate, 27,500 dwelling, the total delivery will be 234,500, meaning to balance the difference, the rest of the country will need to surpass the standard method by 39%.

The senior director at Lichfields, Matthew Spry, said:

“At this very early stage, the signals indicate that emerging plans are not doing what will be necessary to achieve the 300,000 per annum ambition.

Many of the regions where the new standard method is aimed at addressing housing shortfall – and the regions with the greatest problem of affordability – are not currently matching the minimum starting point.

There are clear benefits in having a single, simple method for local housing need as a starting point, and many local authorities have grasped the nettle and engaged with it. But success – as it is currently defined – relies on many more areas doing much, much more, and quickly.

There are warning signs here that plans are not currently setting out to deliver what will be needed to match the government’s housebuilding ambitions.”

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Paul AddisonThe Government’s Housing Goal Will Not Be Met

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