Local Plans Expert Group News and Analysis
Last week, the government's Local Plan Expert Group published its long-awaited report on streamlining and improving the local plan-making process. John Geoghegan spoke to group chairman John Rhodes, director of consultancy Quod
The chair of a heavyweight panel commissioned by the government to look at ways to streamline the local plan process has said that the recommendations contained in its report could have 'seismic' implications for calculating housing need and land supply.
Planning inspectors should have to pass a "driving test' to demonstrate their understanding of calculating housing need and land supply before determining appeals on such issues, a senior council planner has suggested.
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council's local plan examination will run for at least two years, according to the latest timetable. Commentators say this shows the potential dangers to councils of proposing to not meet housing need on green belt grounds.
The uncertainty over which iteration of the household projections should be used to calculate local housing need under the government's still-to-be-finalised standard method is confusing plan-makers, Planning has found.
Research shows that half of the local plans submitted since the new National Planning Policy Framework was published last July are planning for fewer homes than the proposed new standard method of assessing housing need would require.
A government consultation proposing a short-term fix to problems surrounding its new standard method for assessing housing need should dispel immediate uncertainty among planners, experts say.