Make up your own mind, but depending on your own political viewpoint, this latest Government White Paper* consultation is currently being touted as either another “bonfire of regulations” via an Attack on Planning Law and democracy, a Property Developer’s Charter or is part of more far-reaching measures looking to honestly overhaul an out-of-date English planning system. It was published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government on 6th / 7th August 2020. Whichever your viewpoint, it is a bold move that looks to remove from local authorities their right to determine many individual planning applications.
This consultation is open to everyone, from a wide range of interested parties, including the public & private sectors and general public and lasts for 12 weeks.
The resultant Planning for the Future consultation proposes reforms of the English planning system to streamline and modernise the planning process, bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure, and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed.
There are three main Pillars being tabled for this (i.e. Planning for development; Planning for beautiful and sustainable places; and Planning for infrastructure and connected places), and integral to these, five main ambitions are to be tested as part of the proposed new approach:
- First, is to streamline the planning process with more democracy taking place more effectively at the plan-making stage, and replacing the entire corpus of plan-making law in England to achieve this.
- Second, is to take a radical, digital-first approach to modernising the whole planning process. This means moving from a process based on documents to a process driven by data.
- Third, is to create a whole new focus on greater design and sustainability.
- Fourth, is to improve infrastructure delivery in all parts of the country and ensure developers play their part, through reform of developer contributions, and
- Fifth, to ensure more land is available for the homes and development people and communities need, and to support renewal of our town and city centres.
Download the August 2020 White Paper* here.
* A White Paper is a policy documents produced by the Government that set out their proposals for future legislation. White Papers are often published as Command Papers and may include a draft version of a Bill that is being planned. This provides a basis for further consultation and discussion with interested or affected groups and allows final changes to be made before a Bill is formally presented to Parliament.