NPPF sees councils raise housing targets
Almost 50 per cent of councils have raised their housing targets in response to National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) but delivery of new homes has yet to see a ‘significant boost’ - a report claims
A study marking 12 months since the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has found many local authorities have increased housing targets as a result of the policy.
The report by planning consultancy Nathaniel Lichfield and Partners, reviewed 55 local plans of which more than half had cut the housing supply initially proposed by now revoked regional strategy targets. Of these 44 per cent were subsequently forced to raise housing targets in line with NPPF.
Despite this, the report has found few local councils are achieving the degree of ‘significant boost’ to housing supply envisaged by the NPPF. This was blamed on the ‘transition period’, where adopted regional strategies remain in place for many local authorities. The first revocation of a regional strategy only came into force on the 3 January 2013.
The report stated: ‘NLP’s research demonstrates that far from Councils having successfully reduced their housing targets as a result of Localism, the first 12 months of the NPPF show the vast majority of ‘sound’ Local Plans with housing targets at least at the level proposed by the regional strategies.
‘The stated intentions of many councils to reduce their housing target was a legacy of post-localism political euphoria, and should not be relied upon as measure of plan outcomes. 44 per cent of local plans found sound in the last 12 months had their target increased during the examination. In many cases, the regional strategies acted as a restraint on the level of housing. The NPPF’s firm requirement for planning to seek to meet objectively assessed needs is starting to support the ambition of plan-making to substantially boost the supply of housing, and up-to-date Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) will be critical evidence documents in framing that process.’
Read the full report