Secretary of State, Michael Gove has announced details of long-awaited revisions to the NPPF.
The key change announced today is the downgrading of the ‘requirement’ for local authorities to objectively assess their housing need using a Standard Method (that produces a realistic figure for their actual housing need) to ‘advisory’.
This means it is no longer a requirement of the planning system for them to be planning for the number of homes the local community needs.
Gove originally announced the proposals in December 2022. More than 60 Local Authorities have now withdrawn or paused their production of local plans.
Confirmation of the changes will give further license to local authorities to withdraw their plans and deliver fewer new homes.
The home building industry has been warning for some time that the Government’s proposed approach to home building could lead to a sharp fall in supply.
Research conducted by consultancy Lichfields earlier this year predicted that the proposed changes to the NPPF that were confirmed today could cause a drop of 77,000 homes a year.
The latest Housing Pipeline report released this week shows that the number of planning permissions being granted for new homes has continued to decline in the third quarter of the year – falling to another record low.
Neil Jefferson, Managing Director at HBF said: “The removal of housing targets for local authorities, one of the key principles of the planning system, will be extremely damaging for the delivery of new homes.
Jefferson added: “Already we are seeing house building and planning permission levels tumble as a direct result of the Government’s approach and further falls are now inevitable.
“While the announcement today does include some modest improvements to the planning process, most are simply threats that will not make a difference in the short term.
Jefferson concludes: “Amidst a deepening housing crisis, putting party politics and electioneering above the interests of those in need of a decent home will have devastating long-term consequences for the economy and society.”