The Housing secretary Robert Jenrick recently launched a long-awaited white paper Planning for the Future to consult on reform to the planning system.
“This consultation seeks any views on each part of a package of proposals for reform of the planning system in England to streamline and modernise the planning process, improve outcomes on design and sustainability, reform developer contributions and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed.”
These are “landmark” reforms to the planning system, with the introduction of zoning, new developer levies and a requirement for new local plans.
Key proposed reforms
- Section 106 developer contributions and CIL to be replaced with a new Infrastructure Levy. This would be a fixed proportion of the value of the development, above a set threshold, with revenues spent locally on infrastructure projects and new affordable housing.
- The planning process to be overhauled and replaced with a ‘clearer, rules based system’.
- A new zoning system that categorises land into growth, renewal or protected areas. In growth areas, outline approval would be automatically granted for types of development specified in local plans.
- Every area to have a zone-based local plan in place, and local housing plans to be developed and agreed in the reduced time frame of 30 months.
- Local communities to be consulted from the outset of the planning process, with greater input into local plans and the planning system made more accessible through technology.
- More building to be allowed on brownfield land, with greenbelt land protection to continue.
- A focus on beauty and green space, with a ‘fast-track system for beautiful buildings’, new local design guidance, and all new streets to be tree lined.
- All new homes to be carbon neutral by 2050.
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