William Eichler 19 June 2017

Study reveals ‘massive shortfall’ in planning permission

Study reveals ‘massive shortfall’ in planning permission

New research suggests there is a ‘massive shortfall’ in the number of planning permissions granted in areas of England where housing need is highest.

A report by real estates adviser Savills found there is a shortfall of more than 90,000 residential consents a year in high demand districts - the equivalent of over 700 homes delivered per year.

The researchers acknowledged that since the Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was introduced four years ago, there has been a 56% increase in annual consents.

However, Savills warned the NPPF had not met its stated goal of delivering more affordable housing in areas where demand is highest, particularly in London and its surrounds.

The study assessed each local authority in England on their post–NPPF Local Plan Status, their five-year land supply and how they perform on the proposed Housing Delivery Test (HDT) outlined in the Housing White Paper.

None of the ten poorest performing local authorities in the report can demonstrate a five-year housing supply and have a housing affordability ratio greater than the national average – and only one has a post-NPPF local plan in place.

The study also found 61 local authorities have lost at appeal because they did not have a five-year land supply in place. An additional 61 authorities have a published housing land supply of less than five years.

Surrey Heath is the poorest performing authority, according to Savills’ criteria, with Tunbridge Wells coming in at second. South Cambridgeshire is number 10.

All these authorities are in the south-east, are strongly connected to London and contain land designated as Green Belt.

‘There continues to be a massive shortfall in London and its surrounds,’ said Chris Buckle, Savills research director, ‘and it is this misalignment of housing need versus delivery which could ultimately hinder economic growth.’

David Jackson, Savills head of planning, said: ‘While plan-making is slowly improving, there’s still a long way to go.

‘The new Housing Delivery Test means there has to be a real push from local authorities both to identify more land for housing and ensure those sites delivered particularly in locations of higher need.

‘Without this the demand for new homes will go unfulfilled and the housing crisis remain unresolved.’

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