Agenda item

Draft Housing Delivery Action Plan


Resolved that, subject to the above comments and amendments, the Draft Housing Delivery Action Plan be approved for publication on the Council’s Website.


(Link to Council Priorities: P1)


The Portfolio Holder for Planning Services considered a report that set out the Draft Housing Delivery Action Plan.


In November 2018, the Government had been due to publish the results of the Housing Delivery Test that had been introduced as part of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (July 2018).  Unfortunately, the publication of the results had been delayed and these results had only been published on 19 February 2019.


In preparation, a Draft Housing Delivery Action Plan (DHDAP) had been produced in response to the Government’s publication of the Housing Delivery Test results.  The Action Plan analysed the reasons for the under delivery of housing in Elmbridge against the housing need figure and demonstrated the Council’s commitment in responding to the challenge of increasing its housing delivery.


The Housing Delivery Test measured the number of houses delivered against the number of houses required over a rolling three-year period. The Housing Delivery Test Calculation used two components namely housing delivery and housing need.  Housing delivery looked at the past performance of the last three years of net additional dwellings and, for local authorities without an up to date Local Plan, the housing need was calculated using the household projections published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).


The Portfolio Holder noted that disappointingly the Housing Delivery Test result for the Council was 62%.  This meant that the Council was required to publish an Action Plan that analysed the causes of under delivery and the Council’s Five-Year Housing Land Supply would require a buffer of 20%.


In this regard, the DHADP set out a wide range of positive actions that the Council had already undertaken to increase the supply of new homes and to support the delivery of the housing types required. These completed actions had been divided in to different themes that covered: Local Plan Progress; Improving Decision Making; Supporting Affordable Housing Delivery; and Supporting Wider Housing Opportunities.  In addition, the DHADP also identified further actions that the Council could take to increase the housing delivery and a number of these had been included in the Council Plan 2018-19.


The Portfolio Holder noted that the Local Plan Working Group had considered and supported the DHADP at its meeting on 7 February 2019.


On consideration of the draft Housing Delivery Action Plan and having noted that the Council’s local housing need figure had significantly increased to 623 homes per year, the Portfolio Holder considered that an additional comment should be added to either Paragraph 3.7 or Appendix 3 of the DHADP to reflect that the Government was not following its own procedure because it was deliberately ignoring the fall in the birth rate.  Whilst agreeing with the comment made, given that there were other aspects of the methodology that the Council did not support, the Interim Planning Policy and Strategy Manager suggested that a more generic statement be included to the effect that ‘In addition to the comments submitted previously to the Governments consultations, the Council still does not agree that the standard methodology takes into account local circumstances’, which the Portfolio Holder supported.


With regard to the Planning Service performance, the Portfolio Holder was pleased to note that the Council continued to comfortably achieve the targets set by the Government.


In respect of Member Training, the Portfolio Holder requested that a further session focussing on density be held at the beginning of the 2019/20 Municipal Year.


With regard to the Action Plan and specifically the section ‘Supporting Affordable Housing Delivery’, the Portfolio Holder updated that the action to deliver affordable housing on the Council owned site at Cobham Garages had been reviewed by the Shareholder Committee (Housing) and it had been agreed that at the current time it would not be viable to take this project forward.  Accordingly, he requested that the delivery date be amended to reflect the current position.  In addition, given the view of the Hersham Project Member Reference Group that the redevelopment of the Hersham Centre site to provide a combined Centre and hall facility with affordable housing should not be progressed, the Portfolio Holder requested that this action be removed from the DHADP.


Accordingly, the Portfolio Holder


Resolved that, subject to the above comments and amendments, the Draft Housing Delivery Action Plan be approved for publication on the Council’s Website.

Supporting documents: