MHCLG misses housing delivery test publication deadline

The Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has failed to publish the results of its new housing delivery test to the November deadline set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

The MHCLG offices in central London
The MHCLG offices in central London

The delivery test aims to ensure that local authorities actually build enough homes as well as plan for them.

It works by imposing various sanctions on authorities who fail to deliver enough new dwellings over three years against their housing requirement.

Under the test, authorities who deliver less than 95 per cent of their requirement must devise an action plan to address the problem. Those who deliver less than 85 per cent must also identify a "buffer" of 20 per cent more housing sites to add to their land supply position, while those delivering less than 25 per cent face the NPPF's presumption in favour of sustainable development.

The test was introduced in July’s revised NPPF, which said it "will apply from the day following the publication of the housing delivery test results in November 2018".

But as of 1pm on Monday December 3, the test results for 2018 had yet to be published.

A spokeswoman for the MHCLG said that the test would be published "in due course".

In a later statement, an MHCLG spokesman added: "We recognise that the first housing delivery test results will be an important milestone for the sector. The results will be published shortly, and will take effect straight away."

Research by Planning last month, using the government's latest 2017/18 net housing additions figures, found that 120 councils, or 37 per cent, are set to face a sanction under the test but none would face the presumption in favour of sustainable development. 

But it also suggested that nine authorities could face the test's most severe penalty next year if their housebuilding rates do not increase this year. 

Last weekPlanning further revealed those authorities whose land supply targets are predicted to be changed by the test.

*Note: this story was updated at 3.30pm on Tuesday 4 December to add a statement from the MHCLG

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