Bidwells Compiles Response To DCLG Consultation

One of the UK’s leading property consultancies is submitting a response to the DCLG’s ‘Planning For The Right Homes In the Right Places’ Consultation Proposals.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has published (14th September 2017) its consultation on the new methodology for objectively assessed housing need (OAHN). The Consultation runs for eight weeks, closing on 9th November 2017.

Bidwells is hosting a workshop on 31st October with No5 Chambers to present its professional views on the Consultation and collate the observations of its clients to bolster its full response, which will be submitted following the event.

Bidwells has said it wholeheartedly supports the Consultation objectives to simplify, speed up and make more transparent the plan-making process, but its response is expected to express concerns that the proposals could well have a number of unintended consequences.

In particular, Bidwells has said there are considerable reservations over the proposed new standard methodology for calculating the objectively assessed needs for housing.

David Bainbridge, Divisional Managing Partner at Bidwells said:

Failing to consider economic objectives means the proposed methodology is inconsistent with the Government’s aim to boost growth in the Northern Powerhouse and Midlands Growth Engine – and could stifle growth in these areas whilst underdelivering in London, the East and South East. As a result it is unlikely to significantly boost housing delivery and could have the opposite effect.

The use of a single indicator for housing market signals and based on only one year’s data is arbitrary and has the potential to skew results from one year to the next. This, taken together with the underlying Subnational Population Projections and Household Projections changing every two years, will result in data volatility with the Full Objectively Assessed Need figure subject potentially to significant change during the plan-making process.

All of this is likely to lead to greater uncertainty and more difficult plan-making and will not provide a realistic and objective assessment of housing needs contrary to the overall intention.

A full report on Bidwells’ comments on the Consultation will be available at the beginning of November.

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