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National Affordable Housing Thresholds Quashed

As of Friday 31st July National Planning Policy Guidance has been amended to advise that paragraphs 012 - 023 will be removed following the judgement in R (on the application of West Berkshire District Council and Reading Borough Council) v Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government [2015] EWHC 2222 (Admin).

It is presumed the High Court has ruled the changes announced to planning policy in the Written Ministerial Statement of 28th November 2014 and incorporated into NPPG are unlawful, although no information currently appears to be in the public domain.

The changes to NPPG would:

remove the threshold of more than 10 dwellings/1,000sq.m below which affordable housing may not be sought (5 in 'designated' rural areas).

similarly remove the site size threshold below which 'tarriff style' planning obligations may be sought.

remove the guidance in respect of calculation of the Vacant Building Credit.

It remains to be seen how the government will pursue its desired changes to planning policy in response to this judgement. In the short term confusion will reign as some LPA's had amended their development management policies to reflect the change in guidance whilst others had not awaiting the outcome of the legal challenge.


On 29th September 2015 the  Government were granted leave to appeal the judgement.