Housing Delivery Test Results: 2021 Measurement

Decoration Decoration

Government sanctions for failing Local Authorities potentially give applicants the advantage

Development Opportunities

The recently published annual Housing Delivery Test results for 2021 show some Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) are again failing to produce 75% of the required amount of housing. Consequently, these LPAs face Government sanctions, sanctions which add considerable pressure to deliver more housing and give applicants the advantage…

What is the Housing Delivery Test?

The Housing Delivery Test is a measure of how many homes have been delivered in a Local Planning Authority’s area, in the preceding 3 years, and how this performs against their target for housing delivery.

Housing Delivery Test Consequences

Local planning authorities that fail to meet their targets face sanctions. For the worst performers they face a weakening of their local planning policies controlling development. There are various consequences for local authorities and for the timing of planning applications, depending on the degree of under-delivery:

Action Plan

A Council delivering between 85% and 95% of their housing target will have to produce an Action Plan explaining how they are going to boost delivery.

The results from this year’s Test position 23 LPAs in this category.


In addition to an Action Plan, any local authority that has delivered less than 85% of their housing requirement over the last three years has to add a 20% buffer to their housing land supply target, which means that they have to demonstrate that they have a 6-year housing land supply rather than the standard 5-year housing land supply.

19 LPAs now need to provide such buffer.


For the worst performers – those Local authorities delivering under 75% of their housing need – their local planning policies will be treated as being ‘out of date’ and instead, planning applications will be judged against the National Planning Policy Framework’s “presumption in favour of sustainable development”. Essentially this says planning permission for new housing development will be granted unless this would affect areas or assets of particular importance or the adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits.

51 LPAs find themselves in this rather dire situation as a result of the 2021 Housing Delivery Test.

Source – DLUHC

Where am I most likely to get planning permission?

The results indicate that the 10 worst performing LPAs in terms of housing delivery are in London, the Southeast and the East of England. Bell Cornwell have planning consultants scattered across all these areas so get in touch today to find out if you can seize the opportunity to progress the development of your land.

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