NPPF should not impose ‘undeliverable’ housing targets on councils

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Planning Law on Monday, June 18th, 2018

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) must not impose ‘undeliverable’ housing targets on local councils, the Local Government Association (LGA) has warned.

In a letter in response to the Government’s NPPF consultation penned in recent days, the LGA has voiced concerns over the NPPF’s proposed changes to housing targets, which it claims are “disproportionate” and “out of the immediate control of a local planning authority”.

The Government’s consultation into the NPPF asks whether its respondents agree with the “application of the presumption in favour of sustainable development where delivery is below 75 per cent of the housing required from 2020?”

In response, the LGA claims that the NPPF’s approach in this area is “not a proportionate response” to a situation which local councils and authorities have limited control over. As such, it has warned that the proposals could result in a number of complications.

For example, it claims that if private housebuilders have not built more than 75 per cent of their targets post-2020, approximately 165,000 homes in almost half (42 per cent) of council areas could end up being built in ways which “bypass” local plans over the following 10 years.

“It is completely unfair to impose targets on communities which can only be met by private developers, and then to penalise those local communities if those builders do not deliver”, said Martin Tett, a housing spokesperson for the LGA.

“This risks leading to a housebuilding ‘free-for-all’ which will bypass the needs of local communities and could damage trust in the planning system”.

Mr Tett warned that under the NPPF’s proposals, housebuilders would likely find ways to “avoid” key issues set out in local plans, such as making sure new developments have adequate infrastructure. It said that this approach would effectively “bypass” the wishes expressed by communities when it comes to developing local plans.


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