These reports were commissioned from the Centre for Sustainable and Resilient Cities at the University of Liverpool while the Council was in discussions with the Government about the level of housing need in Wirral.

Shortly after they were completed the Government announced its fixed policy position in relation to the specific data and method to be used by the local authority in determining housing need.

The reports endorse the 2016 ONS-based assessment as the most robust analysis of the number of dwellings required per annum, the Government has since clarified in the National Planning Policy Guidance (NPPG) that it is the 2014-based household projections which are to be used within the standard methodology – a formula to identify the minimum number of homes expected to be planned for – to make the calculation of housing need.

Authorities are expected to use the standard methodology when assessing their annual housing need, unless exceptional local circumstances can be shown in order to justify a deviation from the result produced by applying the standard method.

That is in order to ensure that historic under-delivery and declining affordability are reflected, and to be consistent with the Government’s objective of significantly boosting the supply of homes.