Decision details

Decision Maker: Director (Planning)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


The Council is required to understand housing needs for the extended Local Plan period and to fully explore the avenues that might justify the exceptional approach of departing from the Standard Methodology set out in Government guidance.
Due to the sensitivities around this piece of work, it is imperative to award this work to a company without a conflicting interest and with a knowledge of the unique demographic and economic factors that have influenced objectively-assessed housing need calculations previously


To procure an advice note from Rapleys & HDH Planning.

To apply an exemption from the Procurement Procedure Rules due to the specialist, technical nature of the service being provided.

Alternative options considered:

1. Do nothing.
The Council would have to accept the application of the Government’s Standard Method for calculating local housing need without exploring whether or not there could be any exceptional justification (as allowed in current national planning policy) for applying an alternative method. Furthermore, if an alternative method could be justified, the Council will face challenges when defending its approach to future housing growth when the Local Plan is examined by a Government Inspector – if not based on clear and robust evidence.
2. Procure the technical advice note detailed above.

Publication date: 03/04/2024

Date of decision: 29/02/2024