Watford fails Housing Delivery Test for second year running

For the second year running, Watford Council has failed to meet housing targets set by the national government’s Housing Delivery Test (HDT), meeting just 48% of the target set for the last 3 years combined.

The HDT results were first published in 2020. Despite a reduced target over the last 2 years due to the pandemic, according to the government, Watford should have built twice as many new homes over the last 3 years (2018-2021).

Although there was a significant increase in the number of houses delivered in 2020-2021, with 416 homes being completed as opposed to just 266 the previous year, Watford continues to suffer from the huge hike in the target imposed by central government in 2018.

The result of failing the HDT means that Watford continues to have presumption in favour of sustainable development imposed by the government, taking away vital powers to reject inappropriate planning applications.


Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said “I have said it before and I will say it again – the housing target imposed on Watford is far too high and needs to be cut.

“The government’s arbitrary algorithm for creating housing targets for local authorities takes no account of the land space available to councils. Therefore, in built up areas like Watford we see taller developments. They are the inevitable consequence of these unrealistic targets and national planning rules.

“I will continue to press the government to cut Watford’s housing targets. Local people must be given greater powers on planning and development so that we can decide what is best for Watford.”


Sign our petition calling for a cut to Watford's housing targets here.



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