England: The Government have just published the 2020 Housing Delivery Test (HDT) results for English local authorities. The purpose of the table is to track how each Local Planning Authority is doing in terms of its housing delivery, and expose those which are failing.┬áThe implications of the HDT 2020 results are significant as under the National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 11(d)) the “presumption in favour of sustainable development” now applies where the HDT indicates that the delivery of housing was under 75% of the housing requirement for the local authority area over the previous 3 years.

In Dorset three local authority areas, Poole, North Dorset and Purbeck, delivered under 75% of the housing requirement and thus in these areas the presumption in favour of sustainable development applies – this is regardless of whether the authority claims they can demonstrate a 5 year land supply. This leaves these areas vulnerable to applications which might be considered contrary to local plan policies. It may even open up opportunities for new housing on accessible well-located sites outside development boundaries (but not Green Belt, AONB or affected by a habitat designation).

In Bournemouth, whilst housing delivery is marginally above 75%, the Council does not have a 5 year land supply as required by the National Planning Policy Framework, so there too the presumption in favour of sustainable development is triggered.

If you have a site or proposal which you think may be affected by this change then please get in touch with a Pure Town Planning consultant to discuss it further.