No sign of rush to adopt plans before NPPF revisions
The Housing White Paper (HWP) published earlier this year stated that all areas need to be covered by a plan and that local authorities without a plan in place are failing their communities. The paper specified that the government will intervene where necessary to ensure plans are put in place, with a March 2018 (or revised NPPF – whichever is later) deadline applying to many of the proposals. Since then, 15 authorities have been put under special measures to ensure they are successful in producing an up-to-date plan (figure 1).
Despite this, only 46% of local authorities across England have adopted a local plan since the publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). But 5% of local authorities (15 in total) have post-NPPF plans that are now at least five years old. These plans will require updating to reflect changes in their objectively assessed need – through a new standardised approach or otherwise.
The remaining local authorities are at various stages of the plan-making process, with 7% yet to begin even initial preparation of a post-NPPF plan. These authorities are facing significant barriers to plan-making, most notably the necessity to adopt housing targets which will sufficiently meet need.