The Housing Delivery Test (HDT) was introduced by Government as a way of monitoring whether a local planning authority is building enough homes to meet their housing requirement.
The HDT measures the number of new homes built over the previous three years against the authority's housing requirement. Local planning authorities are required to take appropriate actions where certain delivery target thresholds, set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), are not met.
Where housing delivery has been less than 95% of the housing requirement, LPAs should prepare an action plan setting out the causes of under delivery and the intended actions to increase delivery
Where delivery has been less than 85% of the housing requirement, a 20% buffer should be applied when calculating the five year housing land supply
Where delivery has been less than 75% of the housing requirement, the NPPFs presumption in favour of sustainable development will apply
On 19th February 2019, the first HDT results were published by Government. They measure housing delivery over the period 2015/16 to 2017/18. Both Lewes District Council and Eastbourne Borough Council have prepared an Action Plan for the respective planning area. The Action Plans provide an analysis of recent housing delivery, the key reasons for the past under delivery and identify measures that the Council intends to implement to improve housing provision. Both Action Plans are available to view or download in the below tabs.
2018 Housing Delivery Test – Government Revised Figure for Lewes
Earlier this year Lewes District Council issued legal proceedings against the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) after it published a Housing Delivery Test (HDT) result of 50% for Lewes. MHCLG’s calculation failed to recognise that the Council has an up-to-date Local Plan (adopted within the last 5 years) and that the Council had subsequently separated its housing requirement figure to exclude the South Downs National Park. The Council challenged MHCLG on the published figure highlighting that there were unique circumstances requiring specific attention.
MHCLG has considered the evidence presented to them by the Council and concluded that the HDT figure should be revised, initially giving the Council 83% but following further discussions gives 86%. Both MHCLG letters can be downloaded below. The 86% is crucial for the Council protecting its five year housing land supply position and, in turn, its Local and Neighbourhood Plans.