The new Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities released this year’s Housing Delivery Test (HDT) results on Friday 14th January 2022.
The annual HDT measures net additional dwellings built in a local authority's area against the homes required and was introduced to encourage Local Planning Authorities (LPA) to enable the delivery of more housing. This year’s results discount the number of homes required by 4 months to reflect the ongoing impact of the Pandemic.
The results of the 2021 HDT have important implications for residential planning applications and the ability of local authorities to defend refusal at appeal. It is important to note that the test was again made easier to pass this year due to the Covid 19 disruption (meaning fewer LPA’s failed the test despite a reduction in housing delivery requirements).
The HDT essentially groups local authorities into four categories:
- > 95% - No consequences
- 95% - 85% - Housing Delivery Action Plan
- 85% - 75% - Buffer of 20%; and
- <75% - Presumption in favour of Sustainable Development
The results reveal that 51 (16%) of the 320 local planning authorities tracked by the Government failed at least 75% of the homes needed in their area of the past three years. The Councils that failed to build at least 75% of their target will become subject to the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’, which means that proposed developments should be granted planning permission unless their adverse impacts ‘significant and demonstrably’ outweigh their benefits.
A total of 227 Councils delivered at least 95% of their target for the past three years and will therefore experience no consequences.
Notable changes in status in London Boroughs are:
- Barking & Dagenham, Enfield, Havering & Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea retain their presumption in favour status;
- Barnet, Hackney, Islington, Redbridge & Westminster have improved their delivery, leading to the removal of their penalties;
- Tower Hamlets, Haringey & Southwark improve and move into Buffer and Action Plan categories;
- Greenwich, Kingston and Merton now need to apply a 20% buffer to their housing land supply calculations;
- 45% of the London Boroughs experienced a reduction in housing delivery since 2020.
To view the results for the London Boroughs, Click here.
The full results for the UK can be downloaded from this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/housing-delivery-test-2021-measurement
If you have any queries on the HDT or the application of the HDT in London please contact Andrew Dowell in our London Office.