Planning Advisory Service (PAS) Logo
Planning Advisory Service (PAS)
Open group | Started - July 2012 | Last activity - Yesterday

Applications and appeals challenging five-year supply

Former Member, modified 10 Years ago.

Applications and appeals challenging five-year supply

For a while I have been concerned about the implications of appeal decision in which the Liverpool or Sedgefield method adds to what we knew we had to deal with under NPPF paragraphs 47-49.

Both methods add previous years' under-supply to the 20% buffer and either expect it to be made up for across the plan period (Liverpool) or in the next five years (Sedgefield).  Considering how significantly these approaches can change things from the NPPF position it is alarming to see how they have thrived in a series of appeal decisions and are now being presented to us by some developers as standard practice.

In real-world terms, I wonder if any LPA can demonstrate a five-year supply on these terms with the housing market in the state it's been in over recent years.  Sites that are allowed ad-hoc on appeal because of this only add to an over-supply of permissions and could jeopardise the development of better sites that have been through the plan process.

It seems to me that people using these arguments to promote unallocated sites can't lose - they either get permission now or get their site at the top of the list for the next plan review.  So much for a plan-led system.

Has anybody had success in resisting this?

Aside from wanting to know what other practitioners think, I would be interested in views on whether the guidance now on the Planning Portal in beta mode (I guess that's what we used to call "draft") alters the position set out in paragraphs 47 – 49 of the NPPF on five-year supply.

Obviously it shouldn't, as that would amount to new policy, but people promoting site citing Liverpool/Sedgefield had suggested it might.

The new guidance contains the following:

“How should local planning authorities deal with past under-supply?

Local planning authorities should aim to deal with any under-supply within the first five years of the plan period where possible.  Where this cannot be met in the first five years, local planning authorities will need to work with neighbouring authorities under the duty to cooperate.”

It seems crystal clear that this applies to plan-making and not to development management but if appeal Inspectors have already been persuaded to accept the methodology with nothing to support it from Government, I'm sure some will argue it is relevant in S78 appeals.

Andrew Chalmers, modified 10 Years ago.

Applications and appeals challenging five-year supply

Advocate Posts: 169 Join Date: 20/10/11 Recent Posts

Mark while I share your concerns about ad hoc development I think this is almost inevitable. Due to the fall in completions, many places will find it hard to demonstrate a 5 year supply, especially as the residual requirement  rises and the presumption in favour of development therefore comes into play.  Recent appeal decisions suggest trying to resist development however contrary to an adopted strategy prepared correctly and contrary to local community's wishes is pretty futile.

It certainly does look like new policy from CLG (consulted on - of course not).  It is an almost inevitable extension of the "housing now" message that is loud and clear.

I am curious that you would take issue with the Liverpool approach. Plan and 5 year residual calculations have always taken under-provision into account but generally attempted to average this out over the remainder of the plan period.  Clearly the Sedgefield method will put authorities under greater pressure and the perverse nature of the residual method more accentuated.  A quick check of my own authority figures suggests the 5 year requirement would be about 20% higher if all shortfall had to be met in the 5 year period.  In effect the larger the under-provision, the greater over provision will need to be and made sooner.  The challenge of course then arises what a council can actually do to increase supply.  Do remember and your email may not express this as you meant it, the shortfall is used to calculate the new 5 year requirement (whether under-provision is made up over the remainder of the plan period or 5 years).  The 20% buffer is on the supply side.  So adding the shortfall to the 20% is wrong.