Proposed Planning Reforms in England

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Proposed Planning Reforms in England

The Government’s attitude towards house building is clear: ‘Build, Build, Build!’ On 6th August 2020, the Government published a planning consultation report titled ‘Planning for the Future’. This document proposes radical changes to the current planning system in England and sets out an aspirational target of increasing housing supply from 187,000 to 300,000 new dwellings per year.

To achieve this, the Government aims to streamline the planning process and simplify the role of Local Plans. Land across England would be divided into three distinct categories – Growth, Renewal and Protected Areas. Under this strategy, planning permission would automatically be granted for new homes, schools, hospitals and offices in areas designated as ‘Growth’. In urban and brownfield sites classified as ‘Renewal’ areas, development sites would be granted ‘planning in principle’ subject to basic checks by the Local Planning Authority. Meanwhile, Greenbelt and AONB would remain in ‘Protected’ zones.

The Government’s proposal states that Local Plans would focus on identifying site and area-specific requirements alongside producing local design codes. Local Planning Authorities would also be legally required to submit their Local Plans within 30 months, subject to a single statutory ‘sustainable development’ test.

Furthermore, the Government intends to remove Section 106 – a legal agreement that requires developers to consult with local councils to make development schemes more acceptable by providing affordable homes/financial contributions to public services. The S106 agreement will be replaced with a non-negotiable ‘Infrastructure Levy’ set at a flat-rate fixed charge based on the area of the development and the proceeds used to fund public services. 

Our specialist team of planning consultants are able to offer the latest up to date advice so please don’t hesitate to contact a member of our specialist team on 01423 860322.