With the original SHMA, the SHMA Addendum, the ERM Consolidated Review, 5 different projections on behalf of the development industry and CPRE, there are 9 alternative approaches to assessing housing need before this examination.
Reading a typical civic society type response to a draft plan these days you find ar more effort going in to assessment of household representation rates and the weighting to be given to these from different base year projections than any assessment of whether field y is better than field x. Take this for example from Basildon.
What a waste and duplication of effort, that would challenge any cllr to plough through. The great risk is they swallow the arguments of kitchen table statisticians when most likely inspectors will find they are wrong in the wrong direction.
Take the whole nonsense away from examinations and LPAs and let it be done by an independent objective body, based on the employment strategy and job targets the LPA sets. It really doesnt matter that they wont be perfect and sometimes will be off, the savings to the system as a whole, the certainty and the reduction of wasted effort would easily outweigh it.