Housing monitoring and forecasting - Public forum - Planning Advisory Service (PAS)
Housing monitoring and forecasting
I am currently mid way through our annual housing monitoring (which under normal working conditions uses site visits and on-site discussions as a primary source of information). I know that many people will have a view on carrying out site visits - it's time consuming; use BC records etc etc; but after 15 years of doing this work, this has proven to be the most reliable and the most effective method, particularly when every single completion, and every single new dwelling forecast is scrutinised and debated at planning appeals. However, we have now had to stop carrying out our site visits and I would like some advice / information please on how other Local Authorities are collecting housing completion data and also how intelligence to inform forecasting is collected. We will of course submit completions data (in some form) for the HFR and the HDT.
In addition, with regards to forecasting, we are considering an additional 1 year (12 month) lag time i.e not forecasting any completions for the 2020-2021 period in order to take account of the impacts of Covid-19 on the development industry and a cautious assumption that house building will restart in 2021. Has anyone else considered how they will incorporate / account for these impacts?
Thanks Beth and Steve of these contributions. The very fact that site visits are the only way of having complete confidence in what is happening on the ground says a lot about what we already know are massive gaps in the local council’s/sector’s ability to record, collate and analyse data with any confidence. Our FAQ basically says: ‘look to your colleagues in CTax, building control, bin registrations etc. The physical inspection I agree could be done safely in some circumstances but it probably doesn’t sit well with the ‘essential visits’ / ‘stay at home’ advice, but your council may be comfortable with some approach e.g. a 'drive-by' - however manylarge sites will be inaccessible. The whole deferring for a year thing opens up other issues as pointed out. I guess you could collate whatever info you can via other means so you are not sitting still, but if the only way you gain ultimate confidence is by a SV then you’ll have to balance doing this work in stages (i.e. collate what you can now, SVs at a later date) with doing it all at once at a later date.