The UK's planning system is multi-faceted and there are many aspects that developers need to be aware of when operating in a specific region.
In this section, we take a look at how LPAs are performing across the North East & Yorkshire and the Humber in regard to local plan status, housing delivery and Established Five Year Housing Land Supply (5YHLS).
Local Plan Status
Paragraph 11(d) of the NPPF makes it clear that where an authority does not have a up-to-date development plan (i.e. less than five years old), the ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ kicks in and councils must approve applications unless ‘any adverse impacts of doing so would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits, when assessed against the policies in this Framework [the NPPF] taken as a whole’.
This significantly lowers the bar for demonstrating that a development is acceptable and should be approved - so knowing if the development plan is ‘in-date’ is important for development proponents.
Yorkshire and the Humber
As of April this year, there are 14 local planning authorities in the Yorkshire and the Humber region. This comes as the former district councils of Craven, Harrogate, Hambleton, Richmondshire, Rydale, Scarborough, and Selby, along with North Yorkshire County Council were amalgamated to form a new North Yorkshire Unitary Authority.
For the sake of summarising the status of the applicable local development plan, as a new unitary plan is likely to be some way off, we’ll look at the former districts individually. As such, there are 20 current or former LPAs in the region, of these only eight (8) have a local plan that was adopted within the last five years. Three of these 8 are (Craven, Harrogate, and Hambleton) are now part of the new North Yorkshire Unitary.
This means that only 36% of the region is currently covered by a valid local plan, which may seem bad - but it’s better than the national average.
In the North East of England seven out of twelve (7/12) local authorities have local plans that were adopted more than five years ago.
Housing Delivery is a measure of an LPA’s performance that measures historical housing delivery against their accepted housing need. It is measured annually in data published by the Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities. If an LPA cannot deliver at least 95% of its housing need in a year then they must prepare an Action Plan detailing how delivery will be improved in subsequent years. If they fall below 60%, then future applications are subject to a ‘presumption in favour of sustainable development’ (AKA ‘the tilted balance’), meaning that there is a much higher bar for refusing applications thanks to paragraph 11(d) of the NPPF.
Yorkshire and the Humber
There are four places in the Yorkshire and Humbershide region that were delivering less than 100% of their housing need in 2021. These are Calderdale (55%), York (65%), Bradford (74%), and Kirklees (87%). Of these, Calderdale, York, and Bradford are delivering at a level that is below the 75% trigger for the presumption in favour of sustainable development to kick in.
There are two places in the North East region that were delivering less than 100% of their housing need in 2021: South Tyneside (74%), and Gateshead. Of these just South Tyneside is delivering at a level that is below the 75% trigger for the presumption in favour of sustainable development to kick in.
Established Five Year Housing Land Supply (5YHLS)
Five Year Housing Land Supply (5YHLS) is a measure of an LPAs performance that looks ahead to their capability to deliver housing in future.
Each LPA is required to maintain a rolling stock of 5 years’ worth of housing land, based on their accepted annual housing need. Failure to demonstrate an acceptable housing land supply will result in the presumption in favour of sustainable development (or tilted balance) being applied, which makes it very difficult to justify refusal of planning applications.
Yorkshire and Humberside
At the time of writing (August 2023), five areas in Yorkshire and the Humber were struggling to demonstrate a five year supply of housing land. These areas are Braford (c. 2 years), North Lincolnshire (c. 3 years), York (3 years), Sheffield (4 years), and North East Lincolnshire (c.4 years).
Four areas in the North East were (in August 2023) struggling to demonstrate a five year supply of housing land. These areas are South Tyneside (just over 2 years), Gateshead (less than three 3 years), North Tyneside (over 3 years), and Hartlepool (just over 4 years).
If you've enjoyed the data insights about strategic land in the North East & Yorkshire and the Humber, check out our other planning reports for the region below:
- North East & Yorkshire and the Humber: Land Constraints
- North East & Yorkshire and the Humber: Determination Periods and Application Approval & Overturn Ratio
- North East & Yorkshire and the Humber: House Price Growth & Affordability
- North East & Yorkshire and the Humber: Demographics, Density & Migration Patterns