Housing Delivery Test and Action Plan
The Housing Delivery Test (HDT) was introduced by the Government through paragraph 215 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) that was first published in July 2018 as a way to monitor whether a local planning authority is building enough homes to meet its housing requirement over a three year period.
The HDT measures the number of new homes built over the previous three years against the authority’s housing requirement. Local planning authorities are required to take appropriate actions where certain delivery target thresholds, as set out in the NPPF, are not met. These include the following:
- Where housing delivery falls below 95% of local authority’s housing requirement, local planning authorities should prepare a ‘Housing Action Plan’ that sets out the causes of under delivery and the intended actions to increase housing delivery within its administrative area.
- Where housing delivery falls below 85% of the local authority’s housing requirement, a 20% buffer on the local planning authority’s five year housing land supply position should be applied.
- Where housing delivery falls below 75% of the local authority’s housing requirement, the NPPFs presumption in favour of sustainable development (paragraph 11 of the NPPF) will apply in decision-taking.
It should be noted that these consequences would apply concurrently. For example, if the local planning authority falls below 85% of its housing delivery target, then an ‘Housing Action Plan’ should be produced, as well as the application of a 20% buffer on its five year housing land supply position. The consequences will continue to apply until the next HDT measurement is published. The latest HDT measurements for Wealden District Council are outlined below.
2019 Housing Delivery Test Measurement
The 2019 HDT results were published by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) on 13 February 2020. This stated that Wealden District Council had an 2019 HDT measurement of 83%. However, following discussions with the MHCLG regarding the calculation and specifically the timing of the adoption of Wealden District Core Strategy Local Plan (February 2013), the MHCLG have recalculated the 2019 HDT measurement as 87%.
A letter from the MHCLG to the local planning authority confirming the new calculation is below and supersedes the initial results published by the Government:
As a consequence, Wealden District Council will publish a ‘Housing Action Plan’ within a six month period from the publication of the HDT measurement for 2019.
The 2018 Housing Delivery Test results were published by the MHCLG on 19 February 2019. This stated that Wealden District Council had an HDT measurement of 112% and therefore resulted in no consequences being applied for this period. The full table of results can be found on MHCLG’s website.
The Housing Action Plan is produced by a local planning authority where delivery is below 95% of their housing requirement. It will identify the reasons for under-delivery, explore ways to reduce the risk of further under-delivery and set out measures the authority intends to take to improve levels of delivery.
As discussed above, the 2019 HDT measurement for Wealden District Council was published on 13 February 2020 (and then revised) resulting in a measurement of 87% delivery against its housing requirement. As consequence, Wealden District Council needs to publish such an action plan within six months of the publication of the HDT measurement. The Council will therefore publish its Housing Action Plan in line with those timescales.