Published: 8th Feb 2019

A report from the National Audit Office (NAO) has painted a bleak picture of understaffed and underskilled local authority planning departments who are struggling under the pressure of government housebuilding targets. It says that the government’s target of building 300,000 new homes a year by the mid-2020s is looking increasingly unrealistic and 50% of local authorities are likely to fail the ‘housing delivery test’ in 2020 for not building enough homes, so could face penalties. According to the report, as of December 2018, only 44.1% of local authorities had an up-to-date local plan (defined as a plan less than five years old) even though they are required to do so by the government. It says producing local plans can be ‘technically complex, resource-intensive and time-consuming,’ with local authority planning departments ill-equipped to develop them in enough time. If a local authority does not show it has a five-year supply of land for … (To read the full article, subscribe below)