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New research questions local plan housing supply claims

Published: Thursday, 9th June 2016

Indigo Planning report casts doubt on the ability of councils to meet housing supply targets…

New research has highlighted a gulf between the housing supply claimed by English planning authorities and the reality on the ground which depends on sites without planning permission.

This assessment by independent consultancy Indigo Planning casts doubt on the ability of councils to ensure new housing will meet identified need in local plans which are central to the government’s housing policy and, crucially, current supply targets. Councils now face a deadline of next year for publishing their local plans.

The research found that:

· 67 per cent of local planning authorities (LPAs) report being able to demonstrate five years’ supply or more

· 28 per cent of LPAs recognise they don’t have a five year supply

· 5 per cent of LPAs have no up-to-date five year supply data.

The consultancy also noted that that 52 per cent of LPAs were able to demonstrate five years supply or more of housing sites.

However this assessment also showed a reliance on sites without permission. This is what the researchers found:

· 88 per cent of LPAs rely on homes without planning permission in the supply

· 66 per cent of LPAs rely on homes without planning permission making up at least one years’ worth of supply

· 33 per cent of LPAs rely on homes without planning permission making up over two years’ supply.

Overall the average number of years’ worth of homes without planning permission in their supply was 1.7 years.

Simon Neate, chairman of Indigo Planning, said: “The task ahead of local authorities in the next two years is huge. Even those with work well underway will find it a challenge to complete everything on time when resources are so stretched.

“In itself, the plan-led system is right. But after years in which some authorities appear to have attached less importance to the need for this process, very few are meeting their housing targets.“

View more information on the Indigo website

Roger Milne