New measures will speed up the delivery of homes by cutting down unnecessary planning processes and providing more certainty about where sensible development should take place.
Proposals outlined today (4 December 2013) will boost housebuilding and support businesses keen to expand by removing delays from the planning system, stopping burdensome conditions and cutting the costly red tape often faced by applicants.
The changes will also provide more certainty for communities and developers by proposing to make it a legal requirement for local authorities to have a Local Plan in place. This will ensure that councils engage with local people about where homes, businesses and services for their area should be located in the future.
The measures propose to:
- legislate so that when a council has failed to deal with details required by a condition on a planning permission on time, it will be treated as approved; and strengthen the requirement for councils to justify conditions which require more information before work can start
- work with industry, local authorities and other interested parties to develop a pilot for passing a share of the benefits of development directly to individual households
Measures to be consulted on include:
- improving plan making and making it a statutory requirement for a council to put a Local Plan in place; 76% of councils currently have a published local plan, helping shape where development should and shouldn’t go
- cutting the number of applications where unnecessary statutory consultations take place while keeping the same level of environmental protections
Planning Minister Nick Boles said:
These proposals mark an important next step in streamlining the planning system and ensuring it is able to work efficiently to support the development of new homes, infrastructure and jobs we need.
They will also ensure that communities are at the heart of the planning system and given the power to make the right decisions for their local area.
Today the government is also launching a review of the major infrastructure regime. A discussion document seeks views and suggestions about the way this regime, which is already delivering faster decisions on projects such as Hinkley Point C Nuclear Power Station, could be made even more effective.
- The measures were sent out in the National Infrastructure Plan 2013.
- The major infrastructure regime discussion paper is now open for comments.
- We intend to consult on measures to improve the planning application process including statutory consultation and conditions shortly.
- We will consult in 2014 on measures to improve local plan making and on a statutory requirement to have a plan in place.
- The Ministry of Justice will also look to establish a specialist planning court with set deadlines to accelerate the handling of cases; and will legislate to ensure that minor procedural claims are dealt with proportionally, and to allow appeals to go directly to the Supreme Court in a wider range of circumstances.