In January 2021 the results of the government’s Housing Delivery Test (HDT) were published, revealing that Watford Borough Council had only met 48% of its housing delivery target for the period (2017-2020).
As a result of meeting less than 75% of its target, the Council are required to produce an Action Plan to assess the causes of under-delivery and identify appropriate measures and interventions that could increase future housing supply. The result also means that a 20% buffer must be added to the five year land supply and there is a presumption in favour of sustainable development which now applies, significantly reducing the ability for local authorities to have a say in the development that happens in their area.
At Watford Borough Council’s meeting of the Cabinet this evening, councillors approved the Action Plan which includes adopting a new Local Plan, promoting areas of development and keeping an up to date infrastructure delivery plan.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said “Most residents will be astonished to learn that the government believes we should have built twice as many properties in the last few years. They are forcing us to produce this Action Plan to punish us for not meeting their housing target for Watford. A few years ago the government tripled their target for the town but the space we have is very limited.
“As much as some people would like to pretend that government housing targets can be ignored, we have no choice but to produce this action plan because the government want us to build much more quickly than we are. I will continue to fight the unrealistic and unfair housing target the government has set for Watford.”
- The Action Plan agreed by Watford Borough Council’s Cabinet can be found here.