Standard method for local housing needs - April 2022

Standard method for local housing needs

April 2022

Source: Lichfields analysis using MHCLG and ONS data.
Figures may not sum due to rounding

The introduction of a standard method for assessing housing needs for planning purposes (first consulted on in 2017, then adopted in 2018) intended to shift time, resources and debate at examination away from the ‘numbers’ question and towards the ‘how’ and ‘where’ of building new homes. This method is based on the 2014-based Household Projections plus an uplift for affordability, subject to a ‘cap’. Housing numbers in the 20 largest cities and urban areas are also topped up by a further 35%, reflecting Government objectives to, inter alia, drive housing into existing urban areas and encourage brownfield development.
The publication of new affordability data by ONS in April 2022 results in a number of changes to local housing need in authorities across the country. In the absence of a central source, Lichfields has reviewed the changes to affordability and what this means for the standard method. The tables below compare affordability and its impact on the standard method with current local plan requirements, grouped by region.
Read more about our thoughts in the potential implications of these new figures in our blogs here.



North East


North West


Yorkshire and the Humber


East Midlands


West Midlands






South East


South West


Disclaimer: This publication has been written in general terms and cannot be relied on to cover specific situations. We recommend that you obtain professional advice before acting or refraining from acting on any of the contents of this publication. Lichfields accepts no duty of care or liability for any loss occasioned to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of any material in this publication. Lichfields is the trading name of Nathaniel Lichfield & Partners Limited. Registered in England, no.2778116