Technical consultation on updates to national planning policy and guidance

This consultation sets out proposals to update planning practice guidance on housing need assessment to be consistent with increasing housing supply.

The publication of new household projections by the Office for National Statistics has led to a significant reduction in the overall numbers generated by the standard method for assessing local housing need.

This consultation sets out proposals to update planning practice guidance on housing need assessment to be consistent with increasing housing supply.

This consultation also proposes clarifications of national planning policy on:

  • housing land supply
  • the definition of deliverable
  • appropriate assessment

The Government considers that the best way of responding to the new ONS household projections is to make three changes:
1. For the short-term, to specify that the 2014-based data will provide the demographic baseline for assessment of local housing need.
2. To make clear in national planning practice guidance that lower numbers through the 2016-based projections do not qualify as an exceptional circumstance that justifies a departure from the standard methodology; and
3. In the longer term, to review the formula with a view to establishing a new method by the time the next projections are issued.

All other elements of the standard method of assessing housing need would, for now, remain unchanged. The use of the standard method applies to plan-making for plans submitted on or after the 24 January 2019. Any period specified for using the 2014-based projections would use this as the start date. As specified in existing planning practice guidance the relevant housing need figure can be relied upon for the purposes of plan examination for 2 years. For decision making, any proposed revisions would apply from the day of publication of the revised planning practice guidance, unless otherwise stated. This change can be implemented by changes to national planning practice guidance.

Date: October 2018 Date of publication. End of consultation is 7th December 2018.

Author: MHCLG

This item updates DCP section 7.131


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