Heather Jameson 28 April 2021

Government's housing test is 'toothless', consultancy claims

Governments housing test is toothless, consultancy claims image

Government measures to push councils into meeting their housing targets are ‘toothless’, a development consultancy has claimed.

The Housing Delivery Test (HDT), introduced has part of Government attempts to hit a target of 300,000 new homes a year, vowed to penalise local authorities that failed to reach their targets.

But research by consultancy Lichfield, showed the vast majority of councils failing to meet targets could not demonstrate an up to date five year housing land supply – meaning the penalties were already in place.

It also found around half the authorities that failed the threshold were constrained by Green Belt rules, or other special circumstances.

Planning director at the consultancy Colin Robinson said: ‘Based on our analysis it would appear that in its current form, the Government’s HDT mechanism - which seeks to boost supply and address under-delivery - is, in the vast majority of cases, toothless.

‘Without significant reform and added weight in the planning balance, it represents a flawed and under-utilised policy mechanism.’

Of the 55 authorities that failed the 5 Year Housing Land Supply there was just one – Thanet BC – where the HDT has the potential to make a significant difference, the research revealed.

Mr Robinson added: ‘Given that one in five of the authorities in question do not have an up-to-date evidence base, the Government may wish to consider focusing its efforts on a greater degree of intervention, to ensure that Local Planning Authorities progress their Development Plans as soon as practically possible.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Senior Lawyer (Safeguarding Children)

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£45834 - £48819 per annum
Are you an experienced childcare Lawyer with local government experience and looking for variety and challenge?The jobGreenwich Legal Services is comm England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Lawyer (Planning & Highways)

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£40869 - £43860 per annum
Are you a Planning & Highways Lawyer with local government experience and looking for variety and challenge?The jobGreenwich Legal Services is committ England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Regeneration Projects Manager

South Gloucestershire Council
£47,778 - £52,120
This is an exciting opportunity to lead comprehensive town centre regeneration programmes, specifically for... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: South Gloucestershire Council

Senior Lawyer, Regeneration & Property

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£45834 - £48819 per annum
Are you a Senior Regeneration & Property Lawyer with local government experience and looking for variety and challenge?Royal Greenwich is proud to be England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Job Evaluation & Research Officer

Birmingham City Council
£27,741 - £34,728
2 x Job Evaluation & Research Officers will be supporting the Senior Job Evaluation & Research Officer and Reward & Recognition Manager. Birmingham, West Midlands
Recuriter: Birmingham City Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue