Your Councillors

Strategic Planning Sustainability &

Transportation Committee

13 June 2017

Is the final decision on the recommendations in this report to be made at this meeting?



Housing Land Supply Update 1 April 2017


Final Decision-Maker

Strategic Planning Sustainability and Transport Committee

Lead Head of Service

Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development

Lead Officer and Report Author

Stuart Watson, Planning Officer, Spatial Policy



Wards affected




This report makes the following recommendations to this Committee:

That the contents of the report be noted.




This report relates to the following corporate priorities:

·         Keeping Maidstone Borough an attractive place for all –

The Housing Land Supply (HLS) update demonstrates that the Council can meet its 5 and 20 years housing needs requirement.

·         Securing a successful economy for Maidstone Borough –

The report demonstrates the provision of land to meet its housing need requirements and will provide economic benefits through housing growth.






Strategic Planning, Sustainability and Transport Committee

13 June 2017

Housing Land Supply Update 1 April 2017





1.1     This report provides members with an update on the Council’s 5 year and 20 year Housing Land Supply (HLS) position at 1 April 2017.


1.2     The HLS update, as summarised in Appendix I, demonstrates that there is a surplus on the 20 year supply and that there is 6.3 years of deliverable housing sites over the 5 year period 1st April 2017 – 31st March 2022.


1.3     Councillors are asked to note the HLS update.







2.1     The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) at paragraph 47 advises that local planning authorities should identify, and update annually, a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to meet the local need for housing over a period of five years. An additional buffer of 5% must be added to the 5 year target to ensure choice and competition in the market for land, and this buffer should be increased to 20% where there is a record of past persistent under delivery.


2.2     In circumstances where a five-year supply of deliverable housing sites cannot be demonstrated, the guidance in the NPPF at paragraph 49 advises that in relation to decision making, “Relevant policies for the supply of housing should not be considered up-to-date…”.


2.3     The Council’s 5 year HLS calculation was produced using a methodology endorsed by the Local Plan Inspector during the examination of the Local Plan. The Inspector issued a report on his ‘Interim Findings from the Examination of the Maidstone Borough Local Plan’ on 22 December 2016 (examination document reference ED110).  In addition to confirming that it is reasonable to apply a 5% rather than 20% buffer to the borough’s five-year housing land supply in accordance with paragraph 47 of the NPPF, the Inspector is recommending two key changes to the Council’s housing land supply position.


2.4     First, the Inspector did not consider that the 5% market signals uplift set out in the Strategic Housing Market Assessment would have the desired effect of boosting housing supply, nor that it was justified, particularly given the overall increase in past building rates that is expected as a result of the Local Plan allocations.  Consequently, the borough’s objectively assessed housing need is proposed to be reduced by 900 units to 17,660 dwellings for the period 2011 to 2031.  The HLS calculations are therefore based on a 20-year housing target of 17,660 dwellings.


2.5     Second, the Inspector recommends the use of a ‘Maidstone hybrid’ method for the calculation of the borough’s five-year housing land supply, which would deliver past under-supply as at 1 April 2016 over the next 10 years to 31 March 2026.  This would result in a smoother and more realistic rate of delivery of dwellings over the Local Plan period.


2.6     A 5% buffer was applied to the calculation, a position also endorsed by the Local Plan Inspector whom stated within his Interim Findings “Past delivery overall has exceeded the previous housing targets set out in the South East Plan and it would be unreasonable to apply higher housing need figures retrospectively that were only identified as recently as 2014”.


2.7     As a result of the Local Plan Inspectors Interim Findings and the continual monitoring of the HLS, the Council at 1 April 2017 can demonstrate 6.3 years’ worth of deliverable housing sites against the Local Plan housing target of 17,660 dwellings for the Plan period.  The 20 year supply position has also improved to a 246 dwelling surplus against the housing target of 17,660 dwellings.


2.8     There were 1,145 dwellings (net) completed during the monitoring year 2016/17, bringing the total completed dwellings for the Local Plan period to 4,005 and demonstrates that the Council has made good progress towards meeting its under supply.


2.9     Dwellings completed on sites that have been allocated within the Local Plan accounted for 473 dwellings (net) during 2016/17 a contribution of 41% of total completed dwellings.  There were 246 dwellings (net) during 2016/17 completed from prior notification schemes permitting office to residential, a contribution of 21% of total completed dwellings.


2.10 Small sites continue to make a positive contribution to the HLS and local economy.  There were 100 small sites delivering 130 dwellings (net) during 2016/17, which made a contribution of 11% of all completed dwellings.


2.11 There were 1,458 dwellings under construction as at 1 April 2017, indicating that further good progress should be expected on dwelling completions during the next monitoring year 2017/18 (although it is important to note that in rolling supply forward each year, one more year’s target is also added to cumulative totals).


2.12 The council continues to apply a 5% non-implementation discount to extant permissions, to allow for potential expirations of planning permissions during the monitoring year 2017/18.


2.13 The 5 year HLS is made up of extant planning permissions 72%, allocated sites within the Local Plan 26% and a small sites (1-4 units) windfall allowance of 2%.  Site allocations within the 5 year supply are further broken down into those subject to completion of S106 agreement 18%, allocations with a planning decision pending 5% and allocations with a strong indication that the site will be developed in the next 5 years accounting for 4%.


2.14 The 20 years HLS of 17,906 dwellings exceeds the housing target of 17,660.  The supply consists of 4,005 completed dwellings (net) 22%, 5,835 dwellings (net) with extant permission 33%, balance of allocated sites without permission 4,010 dwellings (net) 22%, Broad locations 2,422 dwellings (net) 14% and windfall contribution of 1,634 dwellings (net) 9%.


2.15 Good progress has been made on the allocated sites that contribute towards the Councils 20 year HLS.  There remains only 19% of dwellings on site allocations where a planning application is still to be submitted, and so far there have been 7% of dwellings completed on Local Plan allocated sites


2.16 As a result of the Local Plan Inspector’s Interim Findings, progress of the windfall gains, progress of Local Plan allocated sites and the methodology endorsed by the Local Plan Inspector, the 5 and 20 year HLS positions have considerably improved. 





3.1     The Committee is recommended to note the contents of the HLS update report.





4.1     All Councillors were advised of the Council’s HLS position on Wednesday 31 May 2017.  The 20 year and 5 year HLS tables will be published on the Council’s website, together with detailed data supporting the figures.








Impact on Corporate Priorities

This report demonstrates that that the Council can meet its housing need.

Mark Egerton, Planning Policy Manager

Risk Management

If the Council can demonstrate a 5 year HLS in future monitoring years the risk of appeals against planning decisions is minimised.

Mark Egerton, Planning Policy Manager



Mark Green, Section 151 Officer & Finance Team


Continued monitoring of the 5 and 20 year HLS can be accommodated within the existing staff structure.

Mark Egerton, Planning Policy Manager




Legal Team

Equality Impact Needs Assessment


Anna Collier, Policy & Information Manager

Environmental/Sustainable Development


Mark Egerton, Planning Policy Manager

Community Safety


Mark Egerton, Planning Policy Manager

Human Rights Act


Mark Egerton, Planning Policy Manager



Mark Egerton, Planning Policy Manager

Asset Management


Mark Egerton, Planning Policy Manager




The following documents are to be published with this report and form part of the report:


Appendix I: 20 year HLS table


Appendix II: 5 year HLS table