Population and statistical information

Various data is contained here relating to Watford such as population, house prices, the housing trajectory containing numbers of housing completions, the five year housing assessment, crime and unemployment figures. More information can be found in Watford's Monitoring Reports, produced annually. Further data from the 2011 Census can be found on the Office for National Statistics (ONS) website and Hertfordshire's Local Information Service website. Links to these and other useful sources of information can be found in the 'Related pages' and 'External links' panels below at the bottom of the page.

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Summary of Five Year Housing Supply Assessment as at 31 March 2014

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 27 March 2012 and came into force with immediate effect, superseding previous guidance such as Planning Policy Statement 3. There remains a requirement to assess and demonstrate a five year housing supply. 

The method used for assessing when deliverability of each permission or site is likely to come forward is based on the criteria contained in Paragraph 47 of the NPPF, taking into account such factors as whether the development has started, whether planning permissions are full or outline and when they will expire, discussions with Development Control or developers on progress or when/if likely to proceed. Monitoring data also shows that, historically, non-implementation rates, known as slippage, of planning applications has been very low. As Watford does not have a record of persistent under-delivery of housing, (the average delivered over the last eight years of the plan period is 421 p.a. - see housing trajectory graph and table) there is a requirement for a buffer of 5% rather than 20%.  Additionally, Watford has a high incidence of windfall delivery (a conservative allowance has been made within the housing trajectory from year 6 onwards of 64 units per annum) but no windfall allowance has been included within the five year assessment to avoid any possibility of double-counting.

The first year of the trajectory period, looking forward is 2014/15, and the expected number of dwellings likely to be completed has been identified as 232, the majority of which are developments under construction.
The current year is not included as part of the five year assessment, which covers the following five years between 1 April 2015 to 31 March 2020. Sites included in the five year assessment are a combination of sites with planning permission that are under construction; sites with unimplemented planning permissions; allocated housing sites that are expected to come forward and other sites identified for housing.

The five year assessment has been calculated against the target contained in our Core Strategy, adopted 20 January 2013, as follows:

• The Core Strategy covers the period 2006-07 to 2030-31, where we are seeking 6,500 dwellings over 25 years.
• Taking into account the total completions of 3,369 units between 2006/07 and 2013/14 already delivered, this equates to 3,131 units remaining to be achieved and a residual annual requirement of 184 dwellings for the remaining period (6,500-3,369=3,131/17=184). This corresponds to a five year housing requirement of 920 (y) dwellings (184*5=920).
• The number of projected completions between 2015/16-2019/20 has been identified as 1,400 (x).
• The five year land supply is calculated as (x/y) *100. Watford’s 5 year housing land supply is (1,400/920)*100=152.2%) which is above the National Planning Policy Framework requirement of 105%.

In the five year sites assessment listing, which is available below to download, the larger sites (10 units and over) are detailed individually, and summary totals are provided for the smaller sites (under 10 units).  A site specific list detailing all housing commitments contained within the full housing trajectory listing is available from the Planning Policy team by e-mailing strategy@watford.gov.uk

Additional sites may come forward – sites have been assessed and published for consultation as part of the Site Specific Allocations DPD process within the Local Plan Part 2, most recently during December 2014/January 2015. As in previous consultations, the representations received will then be reviewed before any allocation of sites. Planning applications will be considered and determined having regard to the NPPF, Development Plan policies and other material considerations.

The five year assessment is updated on an annual basis to reflect changes identified in the housing supply and the next assessment will follow the collection and analysis of data over the period 1 April 2014 to 31 March 2015. For more information on housing and other subjects, please see Watford's Monitoring Report, published annually, normally in January, and also available online.

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