Government’s housing consultation – more houses to be built?

This week the Government published its latest consultation on further measures set in the Housing White Paper to boost housing supply in England.    ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’  (see here) sets out a number of proposals to reform the planning system to increase the supply of new homes and increase local authority capacity to manage growth.

Of most immediate concern is the inclusion of a standard methodology for calculating local authorities’ housing need.  Attached to the consultation is a  ‘Housing need consultation data table’ which sets out the indicative housing need for each local planning authority using the Government’s proposed methodology, how many homes every authority in the country is currently planning for, and, where available, how many homes they believe they need.

For our Borough the Government’s data provides an indicative calculation which estimates that there is demand for 579 new homes each year.  This is an increase of 39% above the demand figure of 418 new homes per year that were identified in the Borough’s Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) which was published in 2016.  Officers maintain that our SHMA was robustly prepared and utilised the most up to date information at the time.

Officers are considering the consultation document and drafting a response.  A special Licencing & Planning Policy Committee meeting will be held on the 26 October to agree the Council’s response to the consultation.

It is a concern that the govt wants to force councils to accept higher numbers of housing, without saying how these will be supported, or how this can be achieved without damage to green belt.

We will continue to publish updates and follow this matter closely and we urge our residents to take part in the consultation.