Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) has passed the Government’s Housing Delivery Test (HDT) with a score of 112%, demonstrating how the Council is planning and developing enough homes in the area against the adopted Local Plan (2017), by delivering 2,952 new homes from 2015 to 2018.
Central Government has the priority of delivering 300,000 homes across England and this was heralded in the publication of the White Paper entitled ‘Fixing our broken Housing Market’, which highlighted the need to provide these homes but the obstacles to delivery. The HDT seeks to ensure that the required homes are delivered.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government revealed its assessment of housing delivery for England’s local authorities (going back to 2015/16), against the actual number of homes delivered. The HDT sets out a standard approach to measuring how well the delivery of homes is progressing and creates a series of consequences on councils for failing the test. Whereby the score is presented as a percentage of homes delivered against the number required over the past three years – with 95% constituting a ‘pass’.
Rob Jarman, Head of Planning and Development for MBC said:
“Maidstone Borough Council is committed to developing quality homes across the Borough, with a wide range of sizes, types and locations to suit the local communities’ requirements. This has successfully been achieved by prioritisation, namely, ensuring that the controls are in place to ensure good quality developments are built but also removing obstacles to the speed of delivery.
“The Housing Delivery Test has reinforced how important monitoring and delivery of a plan is. Our existing Local Plan, adopted in 2017, contains a strong and pragmatic vision for the development of the Borough and has been effective, as Maidstone Borough Council is currently meeting and exceeding its requirements for the housing delivery test and the five-year housing land supply. In fact, MBC is directly bringing forward new homes in the town centre and has set a target to deliver an additional 10,000 in the borough by 2026.”
The housing land supply analysis carried out by the MBC Strategic Planning Team indicates that future completion rates of new dwellings over the coming years will ensure that Maidstone continues to perform exceptionally well against the HDT. This is a testament to the effective team working between the Major Applications and Strategic Planning teams with a ‘One Council’ approach.
Maidstone joins a list of local authorities who are currently passing the HDT that include Dartford, Tonbridge and Malling, Dover, Folkestone and Hythe, and Canterbury.