The Treasury and Chancellor George Osborne has unveiled a further package of planning reforms as part of a wide-ranging “Productivity Plan”.
The planning measures include a threat of direct intervention by the Secretary of State over the production of local plans where local authorities are judged to be too slow, and the creation of a zonal system for brownfield land involving automatic permission for housing.
In addition, ministers want a tighter planning performance regime which would mean local authorities would be judged to be ‘underperforming’ if 50 per cent or fewer decisions meet statutory timetables, or who fail to process minor applications in line with a significantly tighter ‘planning guarantee’.
Also planned is legislation to allow major infrastructure projects with an element of housing to be considered as part of the Planning Act 2008 regime and treated as nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIPs).
A copy of the Government’s Productivity Plan can be downloaded by clicking here.