An update on the new methodology for assessing housing need

31 January 2018

Last week, Planning Potential reported on the Governments’ timetable for publishing the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). Linked to this, is of course the introduction of the new standard methodology for calculating and assessing housing need (reported by Planning Potential in October 2017), which the Government hopes will streamline and simplify the many complex debates on this topic. The methodology was anticipated, in the September 2017 consultation document, to be introduced on the 31st March 2018 - but this was dependent on the revised NPPF being finalised by this date - because, the NPPF is the mechanism that will implement the new method. Planning Potential is aware that proposals for the standard methodology will form part of the NPPF revisions, and that it will be finalised as part of the final version of it.

Given the proposed transitional arrangements, this setback could have implications for local authorities (and developers) that have been rushing to prepare local plans under the current provisions. This could mean that some authorities may take the view that they could now slow down their plan submission without having to conform to the new rules, whilst others, that might previously have given up on the prospect of submitting a plan before the new rules take effect, may now have a realistic opportunity of speeding up, and submit plans under the existing rules.

Planning Potential will continue to monitor both the details of the revised NPPF and the new standard methodology, so stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, if you would like to know more about how these changes will impact your business, get in touch with our team of experts here.