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Updated Jan 18, 2022

Results of Housing Delivery Test 2021 published

The results of the Housing Delivery Test 2021 have been published, showing that 51 councils did not deliver 75% of their housing target for 2021, meaning they now face the presumption in favour of sustainable development.

The Housing Delivery Test is an annual measurement of housing delivery in each local authority area.

Councils were required to deliver at least 95% of their housing target in order to pass the test in 2021. Councils delivering between 85% and 95% of their target must develop an action plan to assess why the housing delivery was short and to set out how the shortfall will be addressed. If a council delivered between 75% and 85% of the assessed need, it must identify a buffer of 20% more land and develop an action plan.

However, those delivering less than 75% of their housing target will face a presumption in favour of sustainable development. That presumption, set out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), states that where the delivery of housing is less than 75% of the housing requirement over the previous three years, the policies are considered out of date, meaning planning permission should be granted for a development unless the negative impacts of doing so would "significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits".

Southend-on-sea Borough Council delivered 31% of the housing target, with five other councils delivering less than 40%. In addition, 23 councils will need to produce an action plan. Overall, 228 councils met their housing targets.