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Shortage of available housing land may cause 250,000-home shortfall in England and Wales by 2018, says report

A lack of available sites for housing development may cause a deficit of over 250,000 homes in England and Wales in the next four years, according to a report from planning consultancy Turley.10 Jun 2014

Looking at published figures for the 318 local planning authorities in England and Wales outside London, the report compared authorities' published five-year housing requirement from April 2013 until April 2018 with their land supply for the same period.

According to the report, at least 1,197,000 homes are required by April 2018, but councils claimed to have land available for only around 939,000.

The report also indicated that two-thirds of the local planning authorities were unable to demonstrate that they could meet their five-year housing targets, leaving them open to their Local Plans being considered out-of-date.

“Local authorities are required under the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to identify and update annually a supply of specific deliverable sites sufficient to provide five years’ worth of housing against their objectively assessed housing requirements", said John Acres, a director of Turley in a statement. "Our research and report shows that at least 211 of England and Wales’ 318 planning authorities fall short of their five-year land supply targets.”

“Those LPAs (local planning authorities) that do not have up-to-date adopted Local Plans will continue to receive planning applications but will need to judge them within the context of the NPPF and its presumption in favour of sustainable development", he said.

"Our research represents a ‘best case’ scenario. In the absence of adopted Local Plans and as developers bring forward new sites and permissions for new sites are granted, there will be minor changes to these figures. The substantial shortfall is, however, only likely to deteriorate as annual dwelling delivery rates remain below those needed to meet the overall requirements across England (excluding London) and Wales", said Acres.