London Local Plan Watch - Spring 2023
Despite clear progress from a number of London Borough’s over the last 6 months, many local authorities are struggling to progress to examination stage due to delays in meeting the requirements of the 2021 London Plan. In addition, there is uncertainty surrounding the future of the Housing Delivery Test and the need to meet their 5-Year housing land supply.
With local elections not taking place in London this year there is clear evidence that 12 months’ worth of certainty has moved the process along for many Boroughs. As it stands, Barking & Dagenham, Barnet, Bexley, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Islington, Kensington & Chelsea, Merton, Waltham Forest and Wandsworth are all at advanced stages of their Local Plan adoption process - although not all of these are in full swing at examination.
Despite the strength in delivery figures from the likes of Wandsworth, there have been blows to the 5-year housing land supply figures for some Borough’s with recent Inspector reports highlighting inaccurate Annual Monitoring Reports.
It is clear that the sheer volume of housing required by the London Plan is having a profound impact on housing land supply figures, and the constraint of the Green Belt and the lack of larger scale strategic opportunities in the capital is impacting the ability to meet supply requirements.
The Greater London Authority (GLA) is already progressing with its evidence base for the next London Plan with online surveys during the last 12 months and additional phases of engagement expected this Summer to discuss key long-term challenges facing London.
Five Year Land Supply
With delays to local plan adoption for a number of London Boroughs, Local Authorities find themselves patiently waiting to produce accurate Annual Monitoring Reports to prove or disprove their current delivery position. In addition, the housing supply margins between boroughs are growing resulting in continued additional opportunities for the promotion of major development on un-allocated sites throughout Greater London.
Bromley and Enfield remain at the lower end of the scale with considerable under supply, whilst Kingston upon Thames remains at the bottom of the pack with just 2.32-years. Furthermore, Barnet, City of London, Ealing, Havering and Newham all currently sit below the 5-year mark and many more Borough’s than usual cannot demonstrate a figure.
It is also worth noting Boroughs that can demonstrate just above the required level of five-years of supply, as this is subject to change over time and could be tested via application or appeal. There are currently five boroughs that are above 5-years but below 5.25-years. These are Camden (5.20), Haringey (5.04), Lambeth (5.12), Lewisham (5.20) and Waltham Forest (5.14).
For detail on emerging Local Plan position in London please click on the map below.