The Housing Delivery Test has reinforced how important monitoring the delivery of a plan is - and without delivery policies cannot improve the way development contributes to the success of people and places.
In February 2019 the first set of "Housing Delivery Test" results were published. They set out a standard approach to measuring how well the delivery of homes is going, and create a series of consequences on councils for failing the test. In the first year of this process no councils face the penalty of "presumption in favour", but about a third of councils will be required to make an action plan and some will need to demonstrate a housing land supply of six years rather than five.
Housing Delivery Test Support
There are 108 local planning authorities "caught" by the test who now have 6 months in which to make an Action Plan. To help us organise support and understand how to help we have set up a dedicated mailing list. If you are one of the 108 sign up here. Without your council signing up, we will not be able to offer you support.
Please note that your data will be held securely and will only be used by the Planning Advisory Service and their contracted supplier.
The mechanics of the Housing Delivery Test (HDT)
The details of how the HDT will work are contained in the Housing Delivery Test Rulebook and explained further in the guide accompanying the results.
The HDT works by comparing how many homes have been delivered over the previous three years to the number of homes required. Councils that deliver 95% or less have to complete an Action Plan. About a third of councils are in this position in the first year of the test.
Our early work with pilots on the Housing Delivery Test
We are very grateful to the five councils who helped us work out the first principles of the Action Plan process, and for the larger working party that helped us frame our thinking on the Housing Delivery Test more generally.
We are starting to publish some of the sample Action Plans we made with the help of our pilot councils. We have made a new page to publish some example Action Plans and will be reviewing what we learned from this first group early in 2019.
Thanks to our network of helpful peers and practitioners we produced some "early findings" from our set of regional workshops:
We held a "wash up" event in March for our pilots where we shared and compared what we had learned from the process. Again, we are extremely grateful for the people who gave so freely of their time and experience.
These outputs from the pilot will be rendered out of date once the final guidance and policy has been published, but they may be of some use in the interim.
In Autumn 2017 we asked a small group of councils how they went about plan monitoring, and whether there were any "top tips" for how to approach this task. Unfortunately there are no short-cuts - it requires commitment and resourcing, as well as having the right people in the team.
Many years ago in 2010 we published a case study on Annual Monitoring Reports which looked at some of the basics of communicating progress clearly to a non-planning audience. While some of the details and language has changed since, the basic principles remain the same.