10 key things that happened this week

Ten of the biggest stories from the past week, including news that the new Housing Delivery Test is likely to bring big changes to the five-year land supply position at a significant number of councils.

Housing delivery: new NPPF test introduced in July
Housing delivery: new NPPF test introduced in July

The new test compares actual construction of homes over a three-year period against the assessed need for new homes, with the worst performing authorities risking having their plans declared out of date. While Planning’s analysis of published data suggests that few if any councils will suffer this fate immediately, a significant number are likely to fall short of the required threshold, set at 85 per cent delivery against assessed need, that will mean they have to find a 20 per cent "buffer" of additional deliverable housing sites. More.

A separate Planning analysis found that nine authorities could face the housing delivery test's most severe penalty next year if their housebuilding rates do not increase this year. More.

An Essex council is facing central government intervention after councillors last night refused to authorise a consultation on its draft local plan plan ahead of its submission for examination. More.

Three local authorities in Essex have been advised by a planning inspector to seek legal advice on their proposed methodology for a sustainability appraisal on a joint local plan they are preparing to guide three new garden settlements. More.

A Kent council is set to drop eight out of 12 green belt sites that had been earmarked for development in its emerging local plan, which would leave it meeting only 70 per cent of its housing need. More.

A south-east London council has rejected an application for a scheme including a 27-storey residential tower after an independent assessor rejected the conclusions of the developer's affordable housing viability assessment. More.

A west London landlord has been fined almost £450,000 under the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) for letting out unlawful 'beds in sheds' at one of her properties. More.

A High Court judge has overturned a decision by former communities secretary Sajid Javid to refuse plans for an opencast mine in Northumbria on grounds including the scheme's potential impact on climate change. More.

A planning inspector has allowed an appeal against a Derbyshire council's refusal of a 180-home development after concluding that, given other factors, a neighbourhood plan's failure to allocated any land for housing rendered it neutral in the planning balance. More.

The government is to publish a long-term flooding and coastal erosion policy statement that will "explore new philosophies" around the issue, including the possible need to "help people and communities move out of harm's way", environment secretary Michael Gove has said. More.


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