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National Planning Policy Framework - Part Three

Housing, or rather the lack of it, remains arguably the single most significant issue facing the development sector in England and the attempts to address the shortfall have been at the heart of Government Policy in both this and the previous administrations. The NPPF adopts many of the same concepts and intentions of its precursor PPS3 (and PPG 3 before that), but there are certain key differences and amendments.

The Guidance has in part reduced the draft NPPF requirement that all Authorities would have to identify a 5 year housing supply plus a 20% additional supply to ensure competition between sites and to meet delivery requirements (where sites fail to materialise in the timeframe).  One of the cornerstones of the new system is that Authorities plan proactively and comprehensively to deliver growth in their area. Sites should therefore be demonstrably deliverable.  The adopted document does however state that some contingency is required and so Authorities must identify a supply of deliverable sites at 105% of the identified need.  Where Councils have a record of ‘persistent under delivery’ then a 20% ‘buffer’ will apply.  We will be analysing and monitoring closely where authorities demonstrate ‘persistent under delivery.’

Where there is ‘compelling evidence’ in a local context, windfall sites can be included in an Authorities land supply.  The allowance must be realistic and be based on previous local patterns of delivery and have regard to the Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA).  The inference is that there should not be a need for this if an area has been properly planned and delivery rates maintained.  The SHLAA and Strategic Housing Market Assessments (SHMA) are retained by the NPPF.  The latter document should involve cross-boundary working where market areas cover more than one Authority.

Posted in National Planning Policy

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