7 things you need to know about local plan progress

Planning matters

Our award winning blog gives a fresh perspective on the latest trends in planning and development.

7 things you need to know about local plan progress

7 things you need to know about local plan progress

Grant Swan 06 Apr 2017

Today, we publish our fifth annual review of local plan production – Planned and Deliver.

It tracks the progress and coverage of local plans across England highlighting key trends and important findings. This year, it has additional analysis on the ‘early review’ process and the plethora of policy changes set out in the Housing White Paper. If the full report is the main course, this blog post is an hors d'oeuvre of tasty facts. So, what are the seven things you need to know?

1. Despite the Government’s emphasis on a plan-led system for development, 61% of local planning authorities outside of London do not have an up-to-date, post-NPPF plan. This will need to improve.

2. Plan-making is lacking in some key areas surrounding Manchester, Birmingham and London where difficult choices about Green Belt appears to be slowing progress.

3. Government has set out a housing delivery test to examine housing delivery; our provisional analysis suggests many places that may face consequences of low delivery in 2017 – such as requiring an action plan or an additional 20% land buffer for housing – are also those that lag in plan-making.

4. Housing numbers are key – of the plans found sound since the NPPF,
44% required an increase to housing targets after submission.
Speeding up this process so the number is right first time will be important.

5. Almost one-in-three sound plans are subject to an early review - housing is the key reason cited for such reviews.

6. The Housing White Paper presents 23 policies relating to plan-making –
65% of these policies are amendments to the NPPF or PPG
which are straightforward to introduce and could speed up the process.

7. But will local authorities have the necessary budgets to best utilise these new policies? The local government planning and development budget has fallen by over 50% between 2009/10 to 2015/16.

For more information on these findings and what it means for the housing and planning sector, download Planned and Deliver.