A new housing delivery test will force local authorities to grant planning permissions if they fail to reach land release targets.
From November this year, if delivery of housing falls below 85% of the housing requirement, authorities will in addition be expected to plan for a 20% buffer on their five-year land supply, if they have not already done so.
From November 2018, if delivery of housing falls below 25% of the housing requirement, a “sustainable development” requirement from the national planning policy framework would be invoked, giving additional emphasis on the need for planning permission to be granted unless there are strong reasons not to.
From November 2019, if delivery falls below 45% the policy would apply.
From November 2020, if delivery falls below 65% the policy would apply.
The phased introduction of the housing delivery test will give authorities time to address under delivery in their areas, taking account of issues identified in their action plans and using the 20% buffer to bring forward more land.
The first assessment period will be for financial years April 2014-March 2015 to April 2016-March 2017.