Housing Need Calculation  

The purpose of the Government  Standard Method (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/housing-and-economic-development-needs-assessments) is to calculate ‘minimum annual local housing need’.   Local housing need is not reflected in the standard method which is simply an algorithm designed to achieve a countrywide total of 300,000 homes a year. The natural rate of population change in most of the Local Planning  Authorities in Sussex  has not increased.  The continued reliance on the 2014 household projections as the starting point for assessing the “need”, despite two subsequent iterations of the projections in 2016 and 2018, indicates a reduction in the rate of formation of new households, which illustrates the artificial and contrived nature of the calculation.

In light of the CDC position which lacks a 5-year housing land supply, there has been a recent court ruling which established that the provisions of the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework, 2019) remain subordinate to the overriding principle established by section 38(6) of the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 that decision-makers must have first regard to the terms of development plan policies so the CDC Local Plan and WG Neighbourhood Plan are considered to be valid rather than overridden.

Housing Delivery Test

CDC has passed the government’s 2020 Housing Delivery Test (results published 19 January 2021), which compares the net homes delivered 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20 with the number of homes required over the same period.

In that period,  CDC delivered 1,810 new homes as compared with a  requirement for 1,267 new homes, therefore exceeding that requirement by 148%

Chichester District Council Authority’s Monitoring Report 2019-2020 (AMR), February 2021, states:

Paragraph 8.10  “Housing completions in the Chichester Local Plan area over the year to 31 March 2020 totalled the equivalent of 503 net dwellings”, and “This figure is above the Local Plan requirement and is the fifth successive year that housing completions have exceeded the Plan housing target. This has removed any previous shortfall in delivery. The average rate of housing delivery since 1 April 2012 is now marginally above the Local Plan requirement”.

Paragraph 8.11  ”The NPPF sets a requirement to maintain a five year supply of deliverable housing sites. Although outside of the monitoring year, it is noted that on 15th July 2020, the adopted Local Plan became 5 years old, so from that date the Council’s 5 year supply must be assessed against the standard methodology for assessing housing need. This increases housing need from 435 to 628 dwellings per annum. The Five Year Housing Land Supply assessment as at 1st April 2020 was prepared in July 2020 and identifies 4.3 years of housing supply using the higher housing need figure.

We are aware that following the subsequent publication of the 2020 price/earnings ratios, the annual housing target for the district has been increased to 884 houses per year.

We note, too, that the AMR shows that considerable progress is being made towards future housing delivery (paragraphs 8.13 to 8.21).

Jill Sutcliffe, Chair KKWG,  01403 700395 or jillsutcliffe1@gmail.com