We’ve talked about the out of date Local Plans, but how are up to date Local Plans performing?
All in all 135 out of the 367 Local Plans we have data on, or 36% have been reviewed and updated in the past five years
The interval with the least number of Local Plans, is coincidentally the lowest. Six Local Plans are in the first 10% of their lifespan.
The modal average (so the highest ranking interval) is just over the halfway point of a Local Plan’s lifespan. 22 Local Plans are at the 50-60% progress interval.
This can be good news for developers looking to work alongside local planning authorities. Too early in a Local Plan’s lifespan, and the LPA wouldn’t be interested in hearing your case. Too late, and their plans would be set in stone.
With a lot of plans being near the halfway point, developers in those LPAs, are in good stead to have some input on the next Local Plan.
Does a Local Plan being out of date affect housing targets?
We wanted to do a quick glance to see if a Local Plan being out of date had an effect on an LPA’s housing performance.
We pulled out the five most out of date Local Plans, the five most recently updated Local Plans, and looked at their housing performance data.
The answer surprised us.
A Local Plan’s lifespan seems to have little impact on its housing targets.
South Hams, the most overdue Local Plan, last updated in 2006, performed at 144% of its housing targets in 2020. It also built 7.4% more homes year on year.
Yet compare this to North Warwickshire, whose Local Plan was adopted end of September 2021, performed at 140% of its housing targets, yet delivered 36% fewer homes year on year.
There is no simple answer why an LPA overperforms or underperforms to its housing targets (otherwise the Housing Crisis would be solved by now), but an out-of-date Local Plan seems to be only one part of the equation – and a small one at that.
Looking to find better commercial opportunities?
The landscape of commercial development has changed in the last couple of years.
Which is why it has become more pressing for commercial developers to find sites with less competition.
Knowing a Local Plan’s review stage can help, but armed with more data, a commercial developer can find the right site before anyone else.
David is LandTech’s resident Data Journalist. He has a degree in Physics, but he went all in on the spreadsheets after giving up on his dream to be an astronaut. He once made £150 from an initial investment of £20 selling… apples.