Epping Forest, Woking, Mole Valley and Hemel Hempsted, But not Burnley, Halifax or Rochdale to be included in area for 35% standard Method Urban Top up

This post is now out of date published before the guidance. However the actual guidance is just as bad.

Oanishambles 2. Reports in times today suggested we would have the old 2017 formula (which included the cap) with the difference of 35% from 300k per annum made up from adding to the 20 largest cities and town.

As the reference is to town and cities not local authorities this must refer to the definition of ‘Primary Urban Areas’ introduced from 2001 census data to define where urban areas are. It was never updated for the 2011 census. The ONS has not updated its method for defining urban areas by population so so far this is the only thing they have to go on (Centre for Cities has for its own purposes).

The list is as follows:

Yu will note the areas included in London and excluded from Manchester. Places like Southampton, Southend, Portsmouth don’t make the list. If the government arbitrarily creates a new definition without consultation then legal action will definitely follow.

RankPrimary Urban Area (PUA)Population
(2001 census)
County (traditional)Constituent local authorities[8]LUZ NameLUZ SizeLUZ EU Rank
1London8,294,058MiddlesexSurreyKentEssex and HertfordshireGreater LondonEpping ForestBroxbourneDacorumThree RiversWatfordDartfordGraveshamElmbridgeEpsom and EwellMole ValleyRunnymedeSpelthorne and WokingLondon12,208,1001
2Birmingham2,293,099WarwickshireWorcestershire and StaffordshireCities of Birmingham and Wolverhampton, Metropolitan Boroughs of DudleyWalsallSandwell and SolihullBirmingham2,284,09321
3Manchester1,741,961Lancashire and CheshireCities of Manchester and Salford; Metropolitan Boroughs of TamesideTraffordBuryOldham and StockportManchester2,732,85423
4Liverpool830,112LancashireLiverpoolMetropolitan Borough of Knowsley and Metropolitan Borough of St HelensLiverpool1,365,90041
6Sheffield551,800YorkshireSheffield and RotherhamSheffield1,277,10046
7Teesside472,200County Durham and YorkshireIncludes MiddlesbroughRedcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Teesn/an/an/a
8Bristol428,234Gloucestershire and SomersetBristolBristol1,006,60064
9Bournemouth and Poole382,536DorsetBournemouthChristchurch and Poolen/an/an/a
10Stoke-on-Trent360,810StaffordshireIncludes the towns of Newcastle under Lyme and Kidsgroven/an/an/a
11Leicester329,600LeicestershireLeicesterBlaby and Oadby and WigstonLeicester887,00075
12Wirral331,232CheshireWirralBirkenhead and Ellesmere Port and NestonLiverpool1,365,90041
15Bradford293,717YorkshireMetropolitan Borough of BradfordLeeds1,499,46537
16Newcastle279,100Tyne and WearNewcastle Upon TyneNewcastle Upon Tyne1,055,60059
17Bolton277,300LancashireMetropolitan Borough of BoltonManchester2,732,85423
18Brighton and Hove273,400SussexBrighton and Hoven/an/an/a
20Hull256,100YorkshireKingston upon HullKingston upon Hull573,300113

Government Revises Standard Housing Method – But hasn’t Told us How

MCHLG Press Release – not even on front page – No link to the new method yet.

New measures to level up England’s cities, recover from the pandemic and help provide much-needed new homes have been set out by Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick today.

Following a consultation launched in the summer that sought views from planners, councils and the wider public, the Government has announced its plan for enabling the delivery of more homes across England.

A housing need formula is currently used to provide a starting point in the process of local planning for new homes. An updated method will now be introduced to help councils to enable the delivery of 300,000 homes a year by the mid-2020s, while prioritising brownfield sites and urban areas.

Under the proposals, cities will be encouraged to plan for more family homes – which are the right size and type for families to live in – and to make the most of vacant buildings and underused land to protect green spaces. The plans will encourage more homes to be built in England’s 20 largest cities and urban centres, boosting local economies by supporting jobs in the building sector, and revitalising high streets with the footfall new residents bring.

The Government also intends to revise the so-called ‘80/20 rule’ which guides how much funding is available to local areas to help build homes. This will establish a new principle to ensure funding is not just concentrated in London and the South East.

We dont yet have the details but the following is clear.

  • The cap will go as it refers to 300k not the 260k of the current capped formula
  • There will be less Homes England funding for SE and London and hence less affordable housing
  • It will push more housing into Green Belt areas as these are edge of cities
  • If the above London Plan levels of housing (unrealistic) are maintained it will embed undelivery of the governments 300k ‘Ambition’ (no longer a target) nd increase pressure under the DTC to build in the South East around London.
  • The money for GM and GL is no new – existing pot.
  • The 100 mill for other areas brownfield is new

It is difficult to see how it has been revised – will there be a different formula for the 20 largest cities nd towns or is this just the effect of the fomula. If the former it would be hard to see how this is justified on needs grounds, the weight given to population or housing formation should not change based on density?