Plan Making Progress

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PlansBlockedPlan making progress

The number of councils failing to show a five-year housing land supply in appeals has dropped slightly, but some local planning authorities face major delivery obstacles, the annual Savills planning report reveals.

At least 40% of councils across England are unable to prove a five-year land supply. Savills latest annual study of planning-led efforts to boost delivery of more homes underlines the key role of local plan production in minimising such risks.

According to the findings:

  • 61 councils lost appeals in the 12 months up to April 2017 because they could not show a five-year land supply.
  • A third of these councils had claimed that they could show a supply of at least 5.5 years ahead of the appeal.
  • The number of councils having a five-year shortfall confirmed at appeal is slightly lower than in the previous 12 months, during which 76 authorities lost on this point.
  • However, the research also pinpoints a further 61 councils whose own published figures concede that they cannot meet the five-year requirement, a number that has increased slightly since last summer.

Adoption of local plans has been key in helping many of the previously struggling authorities now able to show a five-year supply.

Plan-making progress continues to be slow. Just 41% of local authorities have a post-NPPF plan, more than half of which embody housing targets that are lower than their objectively assessed need. Results show that since 2013 the number of adopted local plans has been going up in increments of five to ten percentage points each year. An accelerated rate of adoption year on year was expected by now, at this rate, it will take until 2025 to get 100% local plan coverage for England.

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