Housing Delivery Test HDT)
In presenting the report, the Planning Policy Manager explained that the report provided details of the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) results for 2021 that were published on 14 January 2022 by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and provided an update to the five-year housing land supply position for the period 2021 – 2026. Members were informed that it had been confirmed that the Borough Councill had achieved 96% and therefore no further action was required or penalties incurred.
The Planning Policy Manager explained that the result of the HDT were used to determine the ‘buffer’ to apply in housing land supply position statements and whether the presumption in favour of sustainable development should apply.
The Task Group was advised that to reflect the disturbances to planning services during the national lockdown the Government reduced the ‘homes required’ within the 2019/20 year by a month and within the 2020/21 year by four months. It was explained that going forward it was not known which figures the Government would use next year and whether a concession would be applied.
The Planning Policy Manager responded to questions and comments in relation to:
· HDT for forthcoming years and projected results to keep above the 75%.
· Impact of nutrient neutrality on development in the Borough – it was confirmed that this would not affect the Local Plan.
· Building out houses and impact of increase in house prices and building materials.
· Complete site of affordable homes for people in West Norfolk including build to rent, first home policy.
· Reduced target during the Pandemic and given West Norfolk being at a high risk of flooding, flood zone 3 and the effect of climate change and rising sea level and being more vulnerable it was assumed there was no provision to reduce the Council’s target because of vulnerabilities. It was noted that lobbying had been undertaken with the local MP.
· Need for housing for older people, particularly social housing and plans to provide this type of housing.
· Potential impact of major housing schemes such as West Winch being delayed/housing numbers required on an annual basis.
· When a house was counted within the Council’s target - it was confirmed this was when the house was completed.
· Second Homes/Lodges – potential to lobby MP to change the current rules - lodges to be recognised as second homes and council tax being applied to them, this would add to the number of completed properties in the Borough and bring revenue to the Council.
5 Year Housing Land Supply
The Planning Policy Manager explained the Council had to calculate the local housing need for the Borough based on standard method set out in the Government guidelines with a 5% buffer that the HDT required the Council to have. It was explained that the Housing Land Supply Statement and Housing Trajectory confirmed that the was an identified supply of 3,595 dwellings for the 5-year period from 2020/21 to 2025/26 and the Council could show 6.24 years supply of deliverable housing against a local housing need of 576 dwellings per annum.
The Chair/Planning Policy Manager responded to questions in relation to:
· Calculation of housing need set out in report in HDT and was standard calculation set by the Government
· Local Housing need would have been undertaken as part of the evidence base study of local plan looked at types of housing.
· HDT and 5 year land supply were published on an annual basis.
· Higher building quality design/standard and demand.
· Viability test.
The Chair thanked the Planning Policy Manager for the update report.
AGREED: The Local Plan Group noted the result of the HDT and the Housing Land Supply Statement for the period March 2021 to April 2026.