Small but Mighty Changes in the Revised National Planning Policy Framework – Delivering a Sufficient Supply of Homes

19th December 2018

It should come as no surprise that Chapter 5 of the new NPPF continues the Government objective of ‘significantly boosting the supply of homes’. To that end, the NPPF steps up the pressure on local diversity to help deliver the size, type and tenure of housing needed for different groups within the community.

Going forward, a wider range of housing should be reflected in development plan policies as and when they are reviewed. However, in the interim, this should not be an excuse for now

allowing new homes with there is a clear and identified local need, especially for affordable housing, but extending to families with children, older people, students, people with disabilities, service families, travellers, people who rent their homes and people wishing to commision or build their own homes.

Another important change is the inclusion of paragraph 63, which states that affordable housing should not be sought for residential developments that are not major developments. Its inclusion is significant because although it is not part of the statutory development plan, Development Plan policies should be consistent with the NPPF.

For major sites, it is expected that at least 10% of the homes will be made available for affordable home ownership unless this will exceed the level of affordable housing required in the area, or it will prejudice the deliverability of identified affordable housing needs for specific groups. There are however some exemptions, including on sites where it provides for solely build to rent homes,  specialist accommodation, self-build, or is exclusively for affordable or an entry-level exception site.

As before, to help deliver housing, planning policies should identify a five years supply of deliverable housing sites. However, there is also recognition that small and medium-sized sites can make a significant contribution to meeting housing requirements. LPA’s should, therefore, be identifying through the Development Plan land to accommodate at least 10% of their housing requirement on sites no larger than one hectare.

In rural areas, little has changed and so the focus remains on providing housing where it is needed, such as affordable housing. It also continues to state that, to promote sustainable development in rural areas, housing should be located where it will enhance or maintain the vitality of local communities. Avoiding isolated homes in the countryside also remains.

All the above however confirmed that there continues to be an assertive drive towards the provision of housing to meet local needs.

For more information please contact Senior Principal Planner, Jonathan Jarman.

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