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Local housing need

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Recent media coverage has sought to speculate on how many homes  could be created following the government’s proposals to update the formula on local numbers of new houses.

Some of these stories also suggest that the formula creates a new “target” for home building.

In fact, a formula is already used to provide a standard and transparent method of guiding councils on how many homes may be needed in their local area.

It has been over two years since the current formula was introduced, so we need to make sure it is fit for purpose.

What we are proposing are not targets. They would provide a guide for councils on how many homes may be needed in their area.

Today, a Parliamentary debate has taken place on government proposals to update the formula - a consultation began in August and ended last week.

This is the first stage in the process to measure demand for housing, and as before, environmental considerations like the Green Belt and land availability will be taken into account by the local planning authority when deciding how many homes can be delivered.

Our wider reforms in Planning for the Future make clear that we are determined to ensure that the wishes of communities across the country are taken into account through the planning system, including through:

  • Consulting communities from the very beginning of the planning process, harnessing the latest technology through online maps and data to make the whole system more accessible;
  • Protecting valued green spaces for future generations and allowing for more building on brownfield land;
  • Ensuring decisions on the Green Belt staying with councils as they prepare their plans; and
  • Establishing local design codes, shaped by local communities, so developers build in line with the wishes of local people.

As these plans are still part of a consultation, the figures reported are speculative. We are listening to the feedback we have received to ensure we deliver the homes we need, where we need them.

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