The Housing Delivery Test has reinforced how important monitoring the delivery of a plan is - and without delivery policies cannot improve the way development contributes to the success of people and places.
Like a coiled spring we expect the introduction of a "Housing Delivery Test" as part of the new National Planning Policy Framework. It sets out a standard approach to measuring how well the delivery of homes is going, and creates a series of consequences on councils for failing the test.
The mechanics of the Housing Delivery Test (HDT)
The details of how the HDT will work are contained in the Housing Delivery Test Rulebook.
We made a presentation and a datatable containing an approximate model of how it might work as part of our work supporting the NPPF consultation. You can find this work on our "past events" page but remember it represented our understanding at that point in time.
The HDT works by comparing how many homes have been delivered over the previous three years to the number of homes required. Councils that deliver 95% or less have to complete an Action Plan. The process of making an Action Plan was described in a draft NPPG published alongside the draft NPPF, so the final details are still to be published. Whatever the details, it seems likely that many councils will need to go through the Action Plan process towards the end of 2018.
Our early work with pilots on the Housing Delivery Test
We are very grateful to the five councils who helped us work out the first principles of the Action Plan process, and for the larger working party that helped us frame our thinking on the Housing Delivery Test more generally.
We are starting to publish some of the sample Action Plans we made with the help of our pilot councils. We have made a new page to publish some example Action Plans and will be reviewing what we learned from this first group early in 2019.
Thanks to our network of helpful peers and practitioners we produced some "early findings" from our set of regional workshops:
We held a "wash up" event in March for our pilots where we shared and compared what we had learned from the process. Again, we are extremely grateful for the people who gave so freely of their time and experience.
These outputs from the pilot will be rendered out of date once the final guidance and policy has been published, but they may be of some use in the interim.
In Autumn 2017 we asked a small group of councils how they went about plan monitoring, and whether there were any "top tips" for how to approach this task. Unfortunately there are no short-cuts - it requires commitment and resourcing, as well as having the right people in the team.
Many years ago in 2010 we published a case study on Annual Monitoring Reports which looked at some of the basics of communicating progress clearly to a non-planning audience. While some of the details and language has changed since, the basic principles remain the same.