A new policy paper entitled “Planning for the Future”, has been released following the budget.  This paper sets out the changes and reforms that the government wish to make to the planning system during this Parliament.  There appears to be some exciting times and development prospects ahead!

Proposals include:-

  • New Permitted Development rights for upward extensions
  • New Permitted Development rights for demolition of vacant buildings for new residential development
  • Revised and increased planning fee structure
  • Fee rebates for successful appeals
  • Encouragement for First Homes to be introduced
  • Introduction of National Model Design codes
  • New development for brownfield sites, including on transport hubs and above railway stations to ease the pressure on the greenbelt
  • Improving support for councils to be able to use Compulsory Purchase Orders to aid regeneration projects, if it is for the “greater public good”

The existing policy climate may also be amended, for example:-

  • Revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework with a driving focus on placemaking and good design; by adopting the recommendations of the Building Better, Building Beautiful report with particular attention to tree planting
  • If no Local Plan is in place by December 2020, then councils risk having Government intervention
  • A central national brownfield map register to be implemented by April 2020
  • Housing need assessment being re-vamped
  • Incentives for councils to provide new homes-New Homes Bonus
  • Encouragement of Local Development Orders and Simplified Planning Zones
  • Fairer and more accessible Shared Ownership schemes
  • A net zero “show case” development to be built as an environmentally friendly example and template for future developments
  • Building on floodplains now under review

An exciting future awaits us, with correspondingly exciting financial pledges and commitments to see this reform through.  Bloomfields will be closely monitoring this progress and are eagerly awaiting the release of the Accelerated Planning White Paper in the Spring.