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Housing Delivery Test Results

The results of the Housing Delivery Test (HDT) 2021 were published on 14th January and as always, make for interesting reading, ranking the best and worst-performing authorities in terms of housing delivery.

The HDT is an annual measurement of housing delivery, first introduced in 2018 by the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), measuring the number of new homes built in the three years prior, against the local authorities housing target for that same period. The following thresholds, set by the NPPF, determine if action is required from the local planning authority based on these results:

  • Local authorities that achieve greater than 96% of their housing delivery target require no action.
  • A result of 95% and below requires the local authority to produce a ‘Housing Action Plan’ that outlines the causes for under delivery and the intended actions to increase housing delivery.
  • A result of 85% and below requires an application of a 20% buffer to be added to the local planning authorities five-year housing land supply position.
  • A result of 75% and below requires the local planning authority to apply the NPPF’s (Paragraph 11) presumption in favour of sustainable development when determining applications involving housing.

The consequences of these thresholds are concurrent, for example an authority achieving less than 75% and being subject to the presumption in favour, will also have to apply a 20% buffer and produce a Housing Action Plan.

The 2021 HDT results indicate that 29% of the 321 local planning authorities failed to meet the governments housing delivery targets, with a total of 51 local authorities (16%), predominantly located within the East of England and the South East, delivering less than 75% and therefore subject to a presumption in favour.

The majority of London Boroughs required no action, however Havering (46%), Barking and Dagenham (66%), Kensington and Chelsea (43%) and Enfield (67%) all delivered less than 75% of their housing target.

The highest performing local authorities included Oxford (2126%), Richmondshire (1622%), Redcar and Cleveland (453%) and Burnley (434%).