Technical consultation on updates to national planning policy and guidance - response

The Government's consultation sought views on changes to planning practice guidance on the standard method for assessing local housing need.

Key messages  

  • The LGA has acknowledged that there are merits in introducing an element of standardisation in supporting to councils assess housing need. However we have a number of concerns with the locally assessed need figures’ responsiveness to the complexity in local housing markets, and the implications of using them as a target within the Housing Delivery Test.  
  • The new ONS population projections and the subsequent need for this consultation reinforces our concerns with the overall approach. While we understand why the Government has proposed to use the 2014-based projections to provide some short-term certainty, the need for a long-term review makes clear the inadequacy of the methodology.   
  • Furthermore it is now crucial to adapt the application of the Housing Delivery Test in line with this short-term fix. In particular to remove or significantly reduce the presumption of sustainable development within the test which could have a profound impact on the public’s trust in the planning system.   
  • We look forward to investigating how a longer-term approach to standardising how we understand local housing need can support councils and empower communities to deliver the right homes in the right places.