A leading group of housing and planning organisations, including the Planning Officers Society, has launched a toolkit that will allow anyone - at the click of a button and free of charge - to find out how the population of their area has grown to what it is today and what the official projections say about how it might change in the future.
Against the backdrop of the Government's ambitions to devolve powers to the local level and streamline national policy, the Local Housing Requirements Assessment Working Group (LHRAWG), came together in 2011 in response to a call from practitioners for practical support in assessing how many homes were needed in their areas in the context of the new housing and planning framework.
The tool, called "What Homes Where?" and its companion guide, are available free from http://www.howmanyhomes.org.
Nicky Linihan, Chair of the LHRAWG and Convenor of the POS Housing, Regeneration & Economic Development Topic Forum, said: "'What Homes Where?' is a great example of what can be achieved through a spirit of co-operation. It has been developed as a result of the hard work of the cross sector housing and planning organisations that have come together to support this toolkit. The end product is a fantastic online resource that is free to use and provides the information in an accessible way, allowing practitioners and communities alike to understand what housing is likely to be needed in their areas."
The LHRAWG includes the Town and Country Planning Association, Shelter, Royal Town Planning Institute, Planning Officers Society, Home Builders Federation, National Housing Federation, Chartered Institute of Housing, the Local Government Association, Building and Social Housing Federation, British Property Federation, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Northern Housing Consortium.