The 19 councils we predict will be required to increase their housing land supply under the 2019 delivery test

Nineteen councils are likely to have to increase their housing land supply so that it provides for 20 per cent more homes than needed to meet their five year target under the 2019 housing delivery test, according to research by Planning.

Housing delivery: new test results estimated by Planning
Housing delivery: new test results estimated by Planning

The delivery test aims to measure how effectively each local authority is delivering housing. It works by comparing each councils' level of housing delivery - using the the net additional dwelling figures - over a three-year period to the total number of homes required.

The first test results for the 2015-18 period were published in February - three months late - and the second, covering 2016-19, were due last month. However, they have been postponed, the housing ministry told Planning last month, until after the general election.

For the 2019 test, authorities delivering under 85 per cent of their housing requirement will have to provide a "buffer" of sites for 20 per cent more homes than are needed to meet their five year housing land supply target. The penalties take effect from the moment the results are published, according to the 2018 National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). 

Under the NPPF, all councils have to demonstrate a five per cent land supply buffer as standard, in addition to their five-year supply.

Ahead of the government's release of the official 2019 test figures, Planning carried out its own  research to estimate what the results would be. More details on our methodology, and potential differences with the MHCLG's calculations, can be found here.

We found that this year, 112 authorities - or 34 per cent - scored under 95 per cent and seem set to face a penalty under the test, which means that at minimum they will have to produce an action plan showing how they will improve their housing delivery performance over the next year.

Of these, eight authorities fall under the 45 per cent threshold and we predict will face the presumption (although most of them already face the presumption for other reasons). Meanwhile, we predict that 83 - a quarter - will have to find the additional 20 per cent buffer due to scoring under 85 per cent. Some 66 per cent escape a penalty.

Of the 83 that we predict will be required to show the 20 per cent buffer, 19 currently have a five per cent housing land supply buffer. If the official results follow our predictions, they would have to increase their housing land supply by 15 percentage points. 

These 19 councils are:

  • Arun
  • Braintree
  • Bromsgrove
  • Enfield
  • King's Lynn and West Norfolk
  • Sevenoaks
  • Slough
  • Thurrock
  • Welwyn Hatfield
  • Worthing
  • Fareham
  • Hastings
  • Kensington and Chelsea
  • Oxford
  • Purbeck
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Walsall
  • Watford
  • York

Full details from our study of all the 112 councils' estimated housing requirement and delivery figures can be found here.


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