Council Annual Monitoring Report Housing Land Supply

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Appendix A: Housing Land Supply Calculation of deliverable housing land supply as at 1 April 2020 As set out in paragraph 67 of the NPPF, planning policies should identify a sufficient supply and mix of sites, taking into account their availability, suitability and likely economic viability. Paragraph 73 requires planning authorities to identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide a minimum of five years’ worth of housing against their housing requirements.

The glossary to the NPPF defines ‘deliverable’ housing land as follows: Deliverable: To be considered deliverable, sites for housing should be available now, offer a suitable location for development now, and be achievable with a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years.

In particular: a) sites which do not involve major development and have planning permission, and all sites with detailed planning permission, should be considered deliverable until permission expires, unless there is clear evidence that homes will not be delivered within five years (for example because they are no longer viable, there is no longer a demand for the type of units or sites have long term phasing plans).

b) where a site has outline planning permission for major development, has been allocated in a development plan, has a grant of permission in principle, or is identified on a brownfield register, it should only be considered deliverable where there is clear evidence that housing completions will begin on site within five years.

There has been much debate as to whether the list of sites the NPPF defines as deliverable is a ‘closed list’ or an ‘open list’, i.e. whether or not there are other categories of deliverable housing land not specifically referred to in the NPPF definition. Examples of such land include windfall sites, and sites pending a planning decision or with a resolution to grant planning permission subject to a section 106 agreement.

At the time of writing this AMR, the latest legal position is that the NPPF definition is an ‘open list’, following the Secretary of State’s capitulation in East Northamptonshire Council v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. Case Number: CO/917/20206 (12 May 2020). The implication of this case is that sites are capable of being deliverable if the evidence shows that they are ‘available now, offer a suitable location for development now, and are achievable with a realistic prospect that housing will be delivered on the site within five years’, even if they are not specifically mentioned in the NPPF definition.

Consequently, the deliverable (or ‘5 year’) housing land supply for West Lancashire is made up of the following elements: A. Completions within the five year period under consideration (i.e. 2020-2025) from sites allocated for housing in the adopted Local Plan; B. ‘Commitments’ – completions within five years from sites [not allocated in the Local Plan] with outstanding planning permissions for residential development. C. Other sites – such as those approved by Planning Committee subject to the signing of Section 106 agreements, those pending a decision that we now know have been granted, and ‘windfall’ sites.

Each year, the Council endeavours to contact all applicants / agents / developers with outstanding planning permission on sites with a capacity of 10 dwellings or more, to ask when they intend to develop their sites. In 2020, with COVID-19 and its ramifications, it has been all the more important to liaise with developers. The major developers were contacted a second time towards the end of July 2020 to obtain their programming figures for sites in the light of COVID-19. The total forecast contribution over 2020-2025 from WLLP allocated sites is 1,476 units.

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