The Government have today begun a consultation on what is being described as ‘a major overhaul to the National Planning Policy Framework’. The aim of the overhaul is to enable more homes to be built (allegedly) more quickly. Rather ominously the Government have highlighted that Council’s and development will be required to work with community groups to ensure those affected by new developments will have a say on how they look and feel.
The consultation focuses on the following areas:
Greater responsibility: There is a new housing delivery test for Local Authorities with a focus on driving up the number of homes delivered. The Government is also keen for developers to deliver on their commitments (including affordable housing) as part of development proposals.
Maximising the use of land: More freedom will be given to local authorities to make the most of existing brownfield land to build homes that maximise density. Redundant land will be encouraged such as under utilised retail or industrial space for homes, with more flexibilities given to extend upwards on existing blocks of flats and houses as well as shops and offices.
Maintaining strong protections for the environment: The Government are keen to ensure that developments result in a net gain to the environment where possible and proposals include increasing the protection given to ancient woodland so they are not lost for future generations.
Ensuring the right homes are built: The Government are keen to deliver more affordable homes that meet the housing needs of ‘everyone’.
Higher quality and design: The Government are looking to introduce new quality standards so well designed new homes are built in places people are proud to live in and live next door to.
More transparent planning process: The Government will encourage Local authorities to work together to close the gap between planning permissions granted and homes built. A new standardised approach to assessing housing need will be introduced with new measures to make the system of developer contributions clearer, simpler and more robust, so developers understand what’s expected of them and will be in no doubt that councils will hold them to their commitments.
The consultation has launched today to give everyone the opportunity to feed in views on proposals for the future of planning and will run until Thursday 10 May.
For more information on how the proposed changes may impact on you, or if you would like to respond to the consultation please contact Chapman Lily Planning.