17 councils focusing on small sites to boost their housing delivery rates

Seventeen housing delivery test action plans produced by councils in the parts of England under-performing most on building new homes say they intend to encourage small site development, according to the latest research by Planning.

Construction: seventeen action plans point to support for small sites
Construction: seventeen action plans point to support for small sites

A review of the housing delivery test action plans published so far by councils finds that 17 authorities state they will encourage or consider encouraging the use of small site developments, or that they already do so. 

Planning’s council-by-council breakdown allows readers to identify which councils are promising which actions, and click through to their action plans to get more details.

The councils stating that their actions to boost housing delivery include encouraging small site developments are:

  • Barnet
  • Basingstoke and Deane
  • Bradford
  • Brighton and Hove
  • East Hertfordshire
  • Gedling
  • Hackney
  • Harlow
  • Herefordshire
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Kirklees
  • Mole Valley
  • Pendle
  • Southwark
  • Spelthorne
  • Stockport
  • Swale

Planning studied the 67 action plans published so far in areas shown by the government’s housing delivery test to have delivered fewer than 85 per cent of their target number of homes over the previous three years. The research covered all the plans which were published as of 7 October 2019. 

The research outlines the overall numbers of councils who have and have not published an action plan, and highlights the common causes of housing under-delivery as cited in the published action plans. 

It also identifies councils who, as part of their plans to boost housing delivery, are proposing to:

  • make new land allocations or area designations in DPDs
  • increase planning department resources/capacity
  • initiate calls for sites or Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessments
  • review use of conditions
  • consider CPOs or direct purchase of land
  • increase direct delivery of housing, either through the setting up of a council-owned housing company or involvement in a joint venture
  • encourage or support higher density development

and much more


View our exclusive council-by-council breakdown of proposed actions to tackle housing under-delivery to see the identity of the councils concerned, and view their action plans.

The Planning for Housing conference, organised by Planning, takes place in central London on November 12. Speakers include housing minister Esther McVey, MHCLG chief planner Steve Quartermain and Taylor Wimpey planning director Mark Skilbeck. For details, click here


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