Decision details

Decision details

Authority Monitoring Report 2019

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


Provides an overview of progress made towards the key policy objectives set out in the Watford Local Plan.


Cabinet received a report of the Spatial Planning Manager.  The Authority Monitoring Report (AMR) covered the period 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.  It outlined progress made against the local plan timetable and the effectiveness of planning policies against targets and indicators. 


Councillor Sharpe introduced the report and set out the background to the document and how it was an important tool whilst completing the Local Plan.  He acknowledged that the greatest concern for members and the public was the delivery of housing in the town.  It highlighted the challenges and difficulties the council had in meeting its targets.


The Spatial Planning Manager stressed the dates the report covered.  He advised that changes in government policy and delivery, issued after 31 March 2019, were not included in this document but would be shown in the next annual report.


Following a question about the impacts of not delivering set targets and the Covid-19 pandemic, Councillor Sharpe responded that the government recognised there would be some impact due to coronavirus, however there would be no relaxation of policy.  The Local Plan would identify how the council could best meet its targets.


The Spatial Planning Manager added that the council had passed the housing delivery test in March 2019, the end of this monitoring report.  However since then the target had not been met.  One year added growth also had to be applied to the five-year housing land supply, which meant that the current annual completions target for Watford was 944 dwellings.  It had to be noted that planning permission had been granted for housing but they had not all been completed by the development industry.


Councillor Bell asked if the census would still be going ahead next year, as the town’s demographics would have changed since the last census in 2011.  He also enquired about co-operating with neighbouring authorities.


he Group Head of Corporate Strategy and Communications confirmed that currently the census was due to go ahead as planned.


Councillor Sharpe confirmed that the council worked with other authorities under its duty to co-operate.  As part of longer term plans the council was working with neighbouring authorities on a Joint Strategic Partnership, valid to 2050.  This was at an early stage.  He reminded Cabinet and Councillor Bell that they had been sent details of an online seminar and survey to be completed by 5 June 2020.  This enabled them to make comments about the future of the region.


In response to a question from Councillor Johnson about comments at Development Management Committee regarding housing targets, Councillor Sharpe explained that the council had approximately just over five years of land supply for housing.  If the council did not have a five-year housing land supply then this was potentially a tool for developers to use if appealing a planning decision.


The Spatial Planning Manager advised that it was useful for members to have this information when considering planning applications.  The biggest issue was the number of units completed by developers and not permissions.




That the Authority Monitoring Report be noted and published and that delegated authority be given to the Head of Planning Policy to make any minor amendments or corrections as required.


Report author: Jack Green

Publication date: 09/06/2020

Date of decision: 01/06/2020

Decided at meeting: 01/06/2020 - Cabinet

Accompanying Documents:


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