Long-term Plan for Housing - Statement

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 2:42 pm on 11 January 2024.

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Photo of Baroness Penn Baroness Penn Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) 2:42, 11 January 2024

My Lords, we announced a number of different changes at the end of last year. However, as I said to both the noble Baronesses, the standard method for assessing housing need remains the starting point for local authorities. It is only in exceptional circumstances that we would expect them to move away from that, and that must be well evidenced. In such circumstances, where it is not appropriate for that area, there is a way and method for those local authorities to put forward a well-considered and well-thought-out local plan, which would have a much better chance of being delivered than something that does not command local support and does not suit the needs of the local area.

We have made other changes that may result in the changes that my noble friend talked about—for example, by removing the buffers needed on land supply set out in local plans. They go over and above the amount of land needed to deliver against the assessed housing need for an area. Where local authorities have done the right thing, put a plan in place and identified the land they need to deliver against the local housing need in their area, it is not the right way forward to require those local authorities to hold a 5% or 10% buffer on top.