Planning on PaS/BPF Conference
Blackman-Woods also ran through the main elements of last year’s Lyons Review, commissioned by the party.
She repeated Labour’s commitment to reform the duty to cooperate requirements in local plan making, and said Labour believed government-level intervention was required when councils in particular areas were unable to agree on new housing levels.
“We think that what might need to happen is that the secretary of state can direct local authorities to conduct a Strategic Housing Market Assessment,” she said.
“It wouldn’t happen if authorities took responsibility for delivering the housing that is needed, but if it’s not happening, you need something that brings that forward.”
In a few, very few, areas there are still hold outs against joint SHMAs, but that isnt the key issue. Take Greater Derby, or Oxfordshire for example, here we have joint SHMAs but no agreement on how it should be distributed. The key issue now is not lack of OAN evidence, the only job the SHAM does, but the policy and strategy om how that should be distributed, given that some LPAs will be too underbounded to meet all needs locally. SHMAs cannot and will not do that joint plan making capability for you. The only option in these cases is joint plans.