Housing Delivery Test (HDT) Results 2020

The Government has, last week (19th January 2021), published the 2020 Housing Delivery Test (HDT) results.  I did pop a post on Linkedin last week but thought I would just flag this up on the website.

The HDT measures net additional dwellings provided in a local authority area against the homes required, using national statistics and local authority data. The HDT does not apply to National Park Authorities, the Broads Authority or to development corporations without full plan-making and planning decision making powers.  The HDT results have been adjusted and based upon a 48 week year instead of 52 weeks to account for the fact that the 2020 results cover the beginning of the restrictions implemented by the Government in response to Covid-19.

Local planning authorities will fall into one of 4 categories: i. Delivery over the previous 3 years exceeds the housing required or is equal to or greater than 95% of that required – no action and 5% buffer applies; ii. Delivery over the previous 3 years is below 95% but equal to or greater than 85% of the housing required – action plan required and 5% buffer applies; iii. Delivery over the previous 3 years is below 85% but equal to or greater than 75% – 20% buffer applies; and iv. Delivery over the previous 3 years below 75% – presumption in paragraph 11 d) (of the National Planning Policy Framework 2019) applies.

The local housing need assessment uses a standard method set out in the PPG chapter (Housing need assessment).  In short – the standard method takes a baseline of national household
projections and applies an adjustment to take account of affordability based on the most recent workplace-based affordability ratios. Any increase is capped at 40% above whichever is the higher of the projected household growth for the area over the 10 year period or the existing annual average housing requirement figure.  This applies to all LPAs apart from those in the twenty most populous cities and urban areas.  For those in those twenty area the standard method includes an additional step, known as the “cities and urban centres uplift”. This consists of adding a 35% uplift to the figure resulting from the previous steps described above.  It should be noted, however, that this additional step will not affect decision making until the end of a six-month transition period which started on 16 December 2020.  The PPG provides a list of the local authorities to which the cities and urban centres uplift applies, as of December 2020 but be aware places can move in and out of the list due to population changes.

For appeal work and applications the HDT will apply from the day following publication – i.e. 20th January so if you have anything which may be affected by housing land supply, you may be well advised to check your varying applications to see if there are any impacts in your area…. This could also impact upon Local Plan examinations too with regard to whether or not a Council has a five-year housing land supply (5YHLS).

If the above doesn’t demonstrate the ever changing world of planning, as well as the importance of the Local Plan and position at the point of determination, I don’t know what does!