The Local Housing Delivery Steering Group, made up of representatives from HBF and the Local Government Association, along with other key stakeholders, and chaired by Sir John Harman, published two documents on Friday.
The first, Viability Testing Local Plans, provides advice for local authorities and others involved in preparing Local Plans on how to viability test the cumulative impact of policies proposed for the Local Plan. We hope the approach outlined in the paper will be widely adopted by local authorities and that the Planning Inspectorate will take full account of the document’s approach in assessing the soundness of Local Plans.
The second, A Review of Local Standards for the Delivery of New Homes, identified the most important new home standards imposed by local authorities, concluding that there is considerable scope for simplification of the current ‘alphabet soup’ of standards and red tape.
The Viability Testing of Local Plans will inevitably require revising and improving as we all get used to the new planning system under the NPPF. HBF and the LGA will carry out a review of the advice in due course, but in the meantime we would welcome feedback from HBF members. The Local Standards paper concluded that a lot more work is required and that this will require adequate resources, probably involving DCLG.
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