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Articles Real Estate 1st Jul 2019

Real Estate Law Blog: Local council elections lead to Local Plans being abandoned

A change in leadership, and, consequently political direction, at a number of Local Authorities has resulted in Local Plans being abandoned prior to adoption. The first example was Amber Valley District Council in Derbyshire, which withdrew its Local Plan from examination by the Secretary of State and will now have to start again.

What’s behind this?

Some authorities have realised that if they do not have an adopted Local Plan, then the new methodology for calculating ‘5-Year-Land-Supply’ results in them needing to find less land to meet their housing targets. For example, North East Derbyshire’s figure would drop from 330 dwellings per year to 248. North East Derbyshire’s Chief Executive has issued a letter to their Local Plan Inspector saying they are reviewing the position and the options now available to them. To most observers this is a clear hint that they will also abandon their Local Plan.

 

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What does this mean for house builders?

On the face of it bad news, as no Local Plan means increased uncertainty in the planning process, and a lower dwelling requirement would mean fewer allocations and Planning Permissions.

Is it all bad news?

Alongside the new methodology for calculating housing requirements comes the Housing Delivery Test and the figures recently published suggest that many Local Authorities with relatively new Local Plans are already failing to meet their established housing requirements. The consequence of this is that their Local Plans will be deemed to be out of date and the “tilted balance” in favour of development will apply to planning applications and appeals.

Confusing?

Yes, but depending on where you are looking to build it could be good news for developers seeking Planning Permission on unallocated land.

Chris Waumsley

Partner

Planning

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