One house can make a difference to housing supply

Small dwellingsA recurring view is being presented by many Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) and Inspectors; the perception that a single house makes no difference to housing supply.

To disregard the public benefit of the provision of smaller housing sites, at a time when many councils fail to deliver a five year supply of homes, is misguided.

Every new home contributes to the housing supply of a district. Indeed, central government have acknowledged the importance of small development sites and are pro-actively encouraging them. On 28 November 2014, Brandon Lewis made a ministerial statement noting:

‘I would like to update hon. Members on the action that the Coalition Government have taken to free up the planning system and the further new measures we are now implementing to support small-scale developers and help hard-working people get the home they want by reducing disproportionate burdens on developer contributions…. for sites of 10-units or less affordable housing and tariff style contributions should not be sought….By lowering the construction cost of small-scale new build housing and home improvements, these reforms will help increase housing supply.’

Whilst benefits to housing numbers offered by smaller sites may be modest, they should not be ignored, and cumulatively could significantly help the housing supply in the UK. Such sites are faster to deliver and can ‘fill the gaps’ whilst larger strategic sites start on site.

Plainview Planning is an independent town and country planning consultancy.  We specialise in assessing land housing supply figures and analysing local plan data, adding value to planning applications for developments.  If you feel that you may have land suitable for housing development and would like expert advice on the best way to seek a favourable planning outcome, please contact us at to discuss ways in which we could assist.