Delivery of Housing through the Planning System- Welsh Government consultation

The Welsh Government is consulting on changes to Planning Policy Wales in response to a 'Call for Evidence' which formed the first part of the review of housing delivery through the planning system. The consultation also covers consequential changes to procedural advice currently set out in Technical Advice Note 1, Joint Housing Land Availability Studies (TAN 1), and in the Development Plans Manual.

In July 2018 in response to the housing delivery and land supply position across Wales and the concerns of local planning authorities and communities about speculative applications, the Welsh Government undertook a ‘Call for Evidence’ to seek views on how to improve the delivery of the housing requirements set out in LDPs. The ‘Call for Evidence’ highlighted that many adopted LDPs are failing to deliver the number of new homes required, with sites allocated for these homes either not being brought forward for development or being developed at a slower rate than anticipated. The ‘Call for Evidence’ also explored the related issue of the monitoring of housing land supply and its interrelationship with the monitoring of LDPs.In order to assist local planning authorities when dealing with any ‘speculative’ planning applications for housing developments on sites not allocated in LDPs, paragraph 6.2 of TAN 1 was dis-applied for theduration of the housing delivery review (of which this consultation and the subsequent response forms the final part). This removed the paragraph from the TAN which referred to attaching "considerable weight" to the lack of a five-year housing land supply as a material consideration in determining planning applications for residential development.

In particular Planning Policy Wales introduces more rigour and challenge into the plan-making process for allocating sites for housing to ensure that these sites are deliverable and sustainable. This means that there needs to be more evidence on site delivery and viability, infrastructure requirements and place-making principles early in the LDP preparation process. Planning Policy Wales also now requires the inclusion in LDPs of housing trajectories to set out when specific sites are intended to be delivered across the plan period.

Analysis of the responses to the ‘Call for Evidence’ has confirmed that the current policy framework for ensuring housing delivery and the related JHLAS monitoring mechanism are not sufficiently aligned with the LDP process and are therefore not providing an effective means of ensuring and monitoring housing delivery. The current policy is focused on achieving a five-year housing land supply and failure to do so can lead to opportunities for planning applications to be submitted outside the LDP framework, contrary to the plan-led approach. There are also indications that this situation has led to a lack of community confidence in the development plan process. It is therefore proposed to revise the Welsh Government’s policy for ensuring housing delivery and the related monitoring mechanism.

Further to the changes already made to Planning Policy Wales and proposed in the forthcoming new edition of the Development Plans Manual, this consultation proposes:
1. To remove the requirement in Planning Policy Wales for local planning authorities to provide a five-year supply of land for housing.
2. To consequently revoke TAN 1 in its entirety.
3. To replace the monitoring of housing land supply by the monitoring of housing delivery based on the LDP housing trajectory, to be reported through the AMR.

Date: October 2019 Date of consultation

Author: Welsh Government

This item updates DCP section 7.13


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