Hertfordshire housing need 2020 – 2036

26th October 2020

CPRE Hertfordshire is publishing the result of a careful analysis of the latest household projections from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and of the impact of the proposed new standard method of calculating annual housing numbers.

This reveals a dramatic reduction (57%) in future housing need for the County. Two tables show firstly, the comparison between the current method of deriving housing numbers from ONS (2014 based) and ONS (2018 based) figures and secondly, the  impact of the proposed new standard method of calculating housing numbers. Applying the latest up to date ONS projections, the overall annual housing need in Hertfordshire reduces from 8,077 to 3,472; from the second table, the proposed new standard method number raises this to 6,907 dwellings a year.

The report shows the impacts across the County and for each individual district in Hertfordshire.  We object to the new Standard Method (the new algorithm) set out in the recent Government consultation as we consider that the new standard method of calculating housing numbers is not based on any objective measurements or data. Table 2 shows the impact of the proposed new standard method by district and that the annual need figure is doubled across the County (99%).

(CPRE Hertfordshire prefers the definitions from the House of Commons Library:

  • housing demand – the number that aspiring purchasers may buy
  • housing need – the number of dwellings required to meet the need for housing for those who cannot afford to buy.

The new standard method would not be a sound evidence based approach and would bring unjustified levels of housebuilding, requiring large scale losses of Green Belt and countryside.

CPRE Hertfordshire is urging its members and local campaigners to request that planning authorities use the up to date 2018 based ONS figures and resist the introduction of the proposed new standard method. It is also writing to MPs and Councils to emphasise these points.