Housing Delivery Test Results 2021
Date of Article
Jan 18 2022
Planning & development

Keep informed

Sign up to our newsletter to receive further information and news tailored to you.

Sign up now
Get in touch
James Ellis
Senior Planner, Planning & Development
0117 403 9966 Email me About James
Peter Canavan
Partner, Planning & Development
01865 819637 Email me About Peter
Peter is an Associate Partner within our Oxford office. He has worked in public sector planning for a number of years and has been involved in the preparation, scrutiny and adoption of Local Plans, the consideration of planning applications and acted as expert witness in appeals. Since joining Carter Jonas, Peter has represented a variety of clients (including large scale developers, universities and public sector bodies) at Development Control Order (DCO) hearings, planning appeal inquiries and Local Plan Examinations in Public.

The Housing Delivery Test (HDT) 2021 results were published last Friday (14th January) and they continue to make interesting reading. Just under a third of authorities subject to the test (93 of 315) have not reached the required 95% delivery against housing target in the last three years.

There are some notable ‘movers and shakers’ in the list from the 2020 figures: 

The following authorities will now move from a 5% buffer to a 20% buffer for calculating their five year housing land supply:

  • Bradford
  • Canterbury
  • Greenwich
  • Kingston upon Thames
  • Merton
  • Somerset West and Taunton
  • Swale
  • Tonbridge and Malling
  • Walsall
  • Windsor & Maidenhead

Bradford, Canterbury, Tonbridge & Malling, Walsall, and, Windsor & Maidenhead have become presumption authorities and are now required to automatically consider the presumption in favour of sustainable development with each planning application. 

The majority of these authorities (with the exception of Greenwich, Merton and Windsor & Maidenhead) are yet to reach an advanced stage (at least Regulation 19) of their respective emerging Local Plans. The absence of forthcoming allocated sites could lead to opportunities for speculative development.

In better news for other authorities, the following will move from a buffer of 20% to 5%:

  • Bexley
  • Broxtowe
  • Dover
  • Gateshead
  • Gedling
  • Gosport
  • Newcastle-under-Lyme
  • North Somerset
  • Oldham
  • Redbridge
  • Southwark
  • Tower Hamlets
  • Wyre Forest

Gateshead, Gedling, Redbridge, Southwark, and, Tower Hamlets have divested themselves of the presumption. 
Another quirk of these last HDT results is the Government’s attempts to consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on housing delivery, with the following caveat added to the calculation
“For the 2021 measurement, there is a reduction in period for measuring total homes required – usually this would be measured over a 3-year period, but an 8-month period has been used for the 2020/21 monitoring year. This is to account for the considerable variations in levels of housing delivery as local planning authorities and construction industry faced disruption on a national, regional, and local level due to the pandemic. Additionally, an 11-month period has been used for the 2019/20 monitoring year. This was to account for disruption to housing delivery and monitoring caused by the first national lockdown in March 2020”

Time will tell if this is an accurate reflection of the impact on development delivery but this planner’s view is that it has rebounded well, and that the reduction in targets is unlikely to necessarily retained in future HDT statistics.