The government has published the results of its Housing Delivery Test (HDT) 2020/21, which show that a third of local authorities are failing to address the housing crisis.
The results show that 93 local planning authorities (LPAs) have delivered less than 95% of the housing they need. This means that they are subject to sanctions to encourage development.
Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the ONF, said: “Given that the carrot of addressing housing needs itself is not attractive enough to local planners and councillors, the stick of penalties and stamps of the government is clearly required. However, after four years of trial housing delivery, things are clearly not working and therefore the need for planning reform is greater than ever.
51 LPAs provided less than 75% of their housing needs, which means they will face the penalty of “presumption in favor of sustainable development”. 19 have delivered between 75% and 85% and need to add a 20% buffer to their overall housing goals. 23 must produce action plans to show how they will achieve their goal of 100%.
The HDT measures the minimum supply targets councils must meet, and 44 local authorities recognize the need to tackle historic under-delivery and plan for growth, so they plan to meet over 200% of their housing needs.
The National Builders Federation (NFB) said it recognizes the challenges local planning authorities are facing in meeting housing demand, but remains concerned that so many councils are falling short of their targets, leaving us with a lack to gain from more than 149,000 new homes.
As local developers, ONF members would have preferred local authorities to control their own housing destiny, but as many fail to meet housing demand and underestimate housing needs, we salute the brutal instrument the government is using.
Rico Wojtulewicz, head of housing policy and planning at the House Builders Association (HBA), said: ‘The Leveling Up white paper is being touted as a solution to regional inequalities in the UK, but unless it does contains the planning reforms that were proposed in the White Paper Planning for the Future, so that it allows for housing where homes are most unaffordable and investment in areas that have been neglected for decades but have plenty of housing , it will end up with another two-word slogan that does not understand the regional challenges that we really face.