The Government commenced public consultation on changes to Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) relating to the standard method for assessing local housing need on 26 October 2016. In addition, the consultation proposes to clarify the position on housing land supply, the definition of ‘deliverable’, and appropriate assessment for habitat sites.
JB Planning Associates supports the announcement that local authorities should not use the 2016-based housing projections published in September 2018. Whilst this is the most up-to-date demographic data there are significant in-built weaknesses which would have resulted in lower housing targets for many local authorities, contrary to the Government’s policy of seeking to significantly boost the future supply of housing.
Instead, local authorities have been told that for the short-term they should continue to use the 2014-based data as the demographic baseline for assessing local housing need. The use of the standard method will apply to all Local Plans submitted on or after 24 January 2019, with the housing need figure being able to be relied upon for the purposes of Local Plan Examinations for two years thereafter.
The Government has stated that its long-term intention is to review the formula with a view to establishing a new method by the time that the next household projections are produced.
The public consultation ends on 7 December 2018.