The Housing Secretary has announced an overhaul of the Country’s outdated planning system, designed to deliver the high quality, sustainable homes the community needs.

The changes will transform a system that has long been criticized for being too sluggish in providing housing for families, key workers and young people. As well as being ineffectual in obliging developers to property fund the infrastructure, such as schools, roads and GP surgeries that provide support.

Valued green spaces and green belt will continue to be protected for future generations with the reforms allowing for more building on brownfield land. It is proposed that local community agreement will be at the centre of the proposals put forward in the white paper that is being published shortly.

The changes are supposed to represent a boost to contractors currently put off by the planning process – with smaller firms feeling that the complexities of the planning process and its associated risks increases delays and costs.

The Reforms Will Mean:-

Local Communities will be consulted from the very beginning of the planning process. By harnessing the latest technology through online maps and data the whole system will be more accessible.

Valued green spaces will be protected for future generations by allowing for more building of brownfield land and all new Streets will be tree lined.

Much needed homes will be built quicker by ensuring local housing plans are developed and agreed in 30 months – down from the current 7 years!

Every area must have a local plan in place – currently only 50% of local areas has a plan to build more homes.

The planning process will be overhauled and replaced with a clearer, rules based system. Currently around a third of planning cases that to go to Appeal are overturned.

A new simpler National Levy will replace the current system of developer contributions, which is often a cause of delay.

The creation of a fast track system for beautiful buildings and establishing local design guidance for developers to build and preserve beautiful communities.

All new homes to be “zero carbon ready.” No new homes delivered under the new system should need to be retro fitted as the Government moves to try to achieve its commitment to net zero carbon omissions by 2050.

RR Paice