Nine councils will lose planning control as a result of the 2019 housing delivery test, say researchers

Nine local authorities are expected to lose planning control as a result of severe underperformance on the government's housing delivery test this year and up to one in seven in 2020, according to analysis by the consultancy Savills.

Image: Flickr / oatsy40
Image: Flickr / oatsy40

Introduced last year, the housing delivery test applies sanctions to local authorities in areas that fail to meet local housing delivery targets.

The councils in the worst-performing areas face having the presumption in favour of sustainable development imposed upon them, which makes it harder for them to turn down applications on sites that they have not allocated for development. 

No councils were hit with this sanction last year when the threshold for delivery was 25 per cent of a local housing requirement. However, the threshold rises to 45 per cent this year and 75 per cent in 2020.

Savills used the latest government figures for delivery of net additional dwellings to predict the likely results of the 2019 housing delivery test. The results had been scheduled to be published this month, but the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government says that General Election purdah rules mean they will now not appear until after a new government is formed.

The firm predicts that nine authorities will have failed to meet this year’s 45 per cent threshold and will subsequently face the presumption in favour of sustainable development. None of these authorities would fail the test based on the 2018 threshold of 25 per cent, Savills said.  

Overall, Savills predicts that 209 authorities, out of a total of 324, will have delivered over 95 per cent of their housing target and will not face any sanction.

The remaining 115 authorities will need to prepare a housing delivery action plan, the consultancy predicts, seven more than were required to do so last year. 

Of these, 85 are predicted to fall below 85 per cent of their delivery targets and will be required to apply a 20 per cent buffer when calculating their five-year housing land supply, Savills says.

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