Planning Update: The Planning Reform Bill

The Queen outlines the government's priorities for the year ahead. BBC News.

The Queen outlines the government’s priorities for the year ahead. Source: BBC News.

A new Planning Reform Bill has been announced in the Queens Speech delivered at this weeks opening of Parliament. The purpose of the Bill is to create a simpler, faster and more modern planning system that delivers homes and infrastructure more quickly across England.

The published background briefing note confirms the main elements of the Bill to include:

  • Changing local plans so that they provide more certainty over the type, scale and design of development permitted on different categories of land.
  • Significantly decreasing the time it takes for developments to go through the planning system.
  • Replacing the existing systems for funding affordable housing and infrastructure from development with a new more predictable and more transparent levy.
  • Using post-Brexit freedoms to simplify and enhance the framework for environmental assessments for developments.
  • Reforming the framework for locally led development corporations to ensure local areas have access to appropriate delivery vehicles to support growth and regeneration.
  • Digitising a system to make it more visual and easier for local people to meaningfully engage with.

The focus of the proposals is to improve housing supply in order to ramp up opportunities for home ownership. However the strategic direction remains the same as previous attempts to reform the planning system so the devil will be in the detail. The Bill is expected to be published in the Autumn. For advice please contact our Chartered Town Planners here.