The following frequently asked questions are related to the five year housing supply.

What is the 5-year housing supply?

Housing supply is the system by which councils demonstrate that they have enough land in their planning system to meet the annual targets for new homes set by Government. Supply is assessed as part of a rolling annual review process. This is designed to ensure local authorities continuously meet their required contribution to national Government housebuilding targets. A review is published annually after March 31.

How is Charnwood’s 5-year supply managed?

The council looks at sites which have either (i) already have planning permission or (ii) which are identified in a Local Plan as being likely to come forward for development over the coming five years. Officials work out how many homes can be built on the land. This gives a supply figure. For example, in 2022/23 Charnwood’s housebuilding target for the coming five years is 1,160 new homes annually. This equals 5,800 homes over the coming five years. The Council has calculated that the borough has sites likely to come forward for 3,701 homes.

What is CBC’s current supply figure?

Charnwood has allocated land for more than enough new homes to meet its supply target. However, too few of those homes are expected to be developed over the coming five years. Speed of housebuilding has reduced the Council’s supply to 3.04 years.

What is the Government formula?

The system during recent years for setting the target for Charnwood’s supply has also changed. Previously, it has been measured against the Council’s Core Strategy housing requirement of 820 homes a year. However, once a Plan is more than five years old, the supply of land must instead be measured against local housing need. This is calculated using a Government formula. It means that Charnwood must revert to the Government’s standard algorithm for calculating need. This has increased Charnwood’s target by 41.5% from 820 to 1,160 homes each year.

Why is the local completion figure off-target?

A total of 792 homes were completed in 2021/22. Meanwhile, Charnwood has 11,720 approved potential developments in its pipeline. However, the majority of the permissions relate to three large Sustainable Urban Extension (SUE) sites which have yet to be built. Had the three sites followed the expected development course then the supply now would be broadly on target.

The three sites, at Garendon Park, Broadnook and Thorpebury, are complex developments. As such, they require other considerations, for example resolution to legal questions, to be concluded before work commences. Even then, the scale of the SUE developments means that they are unlikely to be completed in the coming five-year period. Therefore, some of the planned homes can not be included in current supply.

Can housebuilding be accelerated?

Around 2,070 existing planning permissions in the Borough exist outside of the three SUE developments. As described above, Charnwood has a total 11,720 approved potential developments in its pipeline. However, while Councils can approve planning application, they can not force developers to build. Delays caused by external market pressures, such as the social and economic impact of the pandemic, may also slow completion of projects.

Why was supply focussed on the three large Sustainable Urban Extensions?

Charnwood focussed development in the three SUEs as part of the wider planning strategy to extend urban areas contained in its current Local Plan. In doing so, the authority could manage development in a way which supported regional infrastructure planning, for example around new roads and schools. It also meant that the bulk of planned development was confined to the extension of existing urban areas. This has benefits including preservation of the Borough’s countryside.

What does this mean for future development?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) states that local housing policies contained in the Local Plan should not be considered up to date if the local authority cannot demonstrate a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites. It means that the Council’s existing strategic planning policies relating to the location of new planning applications will carry less weight when planners make decisions on incoming applications.

How will the Council regain control over supply?

The Council will regain a five-year supply when the ongoing Local Plan 2021-37 is approved by Government. The council, as with all other planning authorities, has spent several years preparing its Local Plan. It staged a public consultation on the draft version in 2019. The Local Plan 2021-37 doubles the size of the buffer for housing supply in Charnwood to 10% on top of the target set by Government. This will increase flexibility in future years.

What happens next?

Were the Local Plan to be adopted immediately then Charnwood would have a renewed five-year housing supply which would take it up to and including 2028/29. Therefore, it would regain control over development in the borough by being able to demonstrate an annual five-year supply in each of the next seven years. The Local Plan 2021-37 is currently in the examination phase. 

Read more about the Charnwood Local Plan

Last updated: Tue 28th June, 2022 @ 08:55