The Government has reacted to the lower than anticipated household growth figures identified by the 2016-based household projections by issuing a consultation upon changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need.
The standard method for assessing local housing need was introduced by the 2018 revisions to the NPPF. At the time of publication, it identified a national minimum housing need of approximately 269,000 homes per annum, based on 2014 household projections. Following publication of the 2016 household projections, figures were slashed to just 213,000 new homes. This fell below the 217,000 delivered last year and 83,000 homes short of the Government’s target to deliver 300,000 new homes by the mid-2020s. The reason for this decrease is two-fold: lower population projections and lower rates of household formation - the latter issue being largely due to methodological changes by ONS.
To overcome this, the Government proposes the following:
The Government has made it clear that local authorities will not be able to use the 2016-based projections to argue for lower housing requirements. If these proposals are accepted, it is back to where we were in August 2018.
The consultation also seeks to clarify a number of other points relating to the operation of the standard method for assessing local housing need. These are as follows:
On the face of it, these seem reasonable clarifications. Other possible changes include:
The consultation closes Friday 7th December 2018. If you would like further advice on how these changes may affect your business, please contact Matthew Good, Planning Director (firstname.lastname@example.org).