Government consultation on housing numbers

Technical Consultation on Updates to National Planning Policy and Guidance: Government Consultation on Calculating Housing Numbers

December 2018

In 2017, the Government published the new Standard Methodology for calculating housing needs. This calculation was established using 2014-based household projections by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and meant a significant increase in the annual requirement for new homes across the whole of Central Bedfordshire.

Since then ONS has published 2016-based household projections, which when applied to the standard methodology would lead to a reduction in the overall housing requirement for many local authorities, including Central Bedfordshire.

In response to this change, Government has published the Technical Consultation on Updates to National Planning Policy (link opens in new window) and Guidance which considers the method of calculating housing numbers. This consultation sets out proposals to update planning practice guidance on housing need assessment to be consistent with increasing housing supply. It makes the case for continuing to use the 2014-based projections for calculating housing need rather than the more recent 2016-based published projections.

This consultation also proposes clarifications of national planning policy on:

  • housing land supply
  • the definition of deliverable
  • appropriate assessment

Central Bedfordshire Council (CBC) fundamentally disagrees with the proposed amendment to planning practice guidance to require use of the 2014-based household projections. CBC considers that the arguments for this proposed change are both weak and unclear and that the calculation of housing need should be transparent, robust and based on clear evidence.

Our full response to the Government consultation (PDF 490.5KB) .