The government publishes its response to the consultation relating to the standard method …

The government has published the following response to the consultation titled "Changes to the current planning system - Consultation on changes to planning policy and regulations" (which ran for 8 weeks from 06/08/2020 until 01/10/2020):

  • December 2020: Government response to the local housing need proposals in "Changes to the current planning system" (pdf print version of HTML webpage) (link).

Note: The above response document covers the part of the above consultation relating to the standard method.

Notes:

  • The "Introduction" at the start of the above response document includes the following information:
    - "On 6 August 2020, the government published ‘Changes to the current planning system’. The consultation paper set out four policy proposals to improve the effectiveness of the current system:
    >>> changing the standard method for assessing local housing need, to plan for the delivery of 300,000 new homes a year and plan for more homes in the right places;
    >>> securing First Homes, sold at a discount to market price for first time buyers, including key workers, through developer contributions;
    >>> temporarily lifting the small sites threshold below which developers do not need to contribute to affordable housing, to up to 40 or 50 units, to support SME builders as the economy recovers from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; and
    >>> extending the current Permission in Principle to major development so that landowners and developers can secure the principle of development for housing on sites without having to work up detailed plans first."
    .
    - "The consultation closed on 1 October 2020.".
    - "This government response provides a response to the first of the four consultation proposals – changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need (the ‘standard method’).".
    - "We are carefully considering the responses to the other proposed policy changes covered in this consultation. In doing so, we will assess whether the small sites threshold and extending Permission in Principle are best addressed in the context of our proposals for wider reform. We will be responding to proposals to secure First Homes through developer contributions in the short term in the New Year.".
  • The "Next steps" section within the above response document includes the following information:
    - "Having taken the responses into account, we have decided the most appropriate approach is to retain the standard method in its current form. However, in order to meet our principles of delivering more homes on brownfield land we will apply a 35 per cent uplift to the post-cap number generated by the standard method to Greater London and to the local authorities which contain the largest proportion of the other 19 most populated cities and urban centres in England. This is based on the Office for National Statistics list of Major Towns and Cities, ranked in order of population size using the latest mid-year population estimates provided by the Office for National Statistics.".
    - "As at the date of this government response and in order of size beginning with the largest as per the 2019 mid-year estimates (latest estimates), these places are: London, Birmingham, Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Leicester, Coventry, Bradford, Nottingham, Kingston upon Hull, Newcastle upon Tyne, Stoke-on-Trent, Southampton, Plymouth, Derby, Reading, Wolverhampton, and Brighton and Hove.".
  • Note: The webpage (link) for the above consultation also includes the following document:
    - "Indicative local housing need (December 2020 revised methodology)".

Other sources of information:

  • March 2020: Planning for the Future - Policy Paper (pdf) (link).
    - Note: For more information about the above document, please view this post.
  • August 2020: Government press release - "Launch of Planning for the future consultation to reform the planning system" (link).
  • August 2020: Changes to the current planning system - Consultation on changes to planning policy and regulations (pdf) (link).
    - Note: For more information about the above document, please view this post.