Further proposals to cut planning red tape and offer more support for local communities to devise neighbourhood plans
The Government has published proposals to make the planning system more streamlined and effective. A-100 page document, now out for consultation, highlights plans to change the neighbourhood planning regime, amend planning regulations and planning conditions, as well as modifying the planning application process and introducing new thresholds for environmental impact assessments. Also unveiled were promised measures to refine the arrangements for determining nationally significant infrastructure projects.
The 'wide ranging proposals' are the next stage, making it easier for communities to devise neighbourhood plans, help builders get onto sites with planning permission without delay and reduce bureaucracy and red tape.
The consultation provides more detail around the ‘deemed discharge’ of planning conditions included in the Infrastructure Bill currently being considered by the Lords. This provides clarity on the type of conditions which are expected to be exempted from the deemed discharge provisions.
development which is subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment
development which is likely to have a significant effect on a qualifying European site
development in areas of high flood risk (e.g. where development is in flood zones 2 & 3 or where there are reported critical drainage issues
conditions that have the effect of requiring that an agreement under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), Section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 to be entered into before an aspect of the development can go ahead
any conditions requiring the approval of details for outline planning permissions required by reserved matters.
Other measures now out for discussion include:
requiring planning authorities to provide written justification why pre-commencement conditions could not be dealt with after development has commenced
Imposing a time limit of 70 days on local authorities dealing with applications for neighbourhood area status (the current average is 126 days with some taking as long as 400 days)
streamlining the process of seeking views on applications from statutory consultees. This is expected to reduce the number of applications requiring input from English Heritage, Natural England and the Highways Agency but will not affect the role of the Environment Agency
raising the screening threshold for Environmental Impact Assessments for development of residential property in urban areas to exclude schemes of below 150 units. This is expected to reduce the number of such screenings for residential developments from 1600 a year to around 300
establishing new permitted development rights to allow homes to be created in buildings currently used for light industry, warehousing, launderettes, casinos, nightclubs and amusement arcades. Payday loan shops and betting shops would be excluded from this new regime.
- Neighbourhood planning groups can apply for £22.5 million to support new neighbourhood plans and development orders
- New tool enables challenges to Government land or property usage: both vacant and occupied
- How can public spaces influence urban policies: shifting from a planning-centred to a people-centred approach
- New guidance needed for neighbourhood plan-makers and decision-makers over status and impact of local plans
- Community assets begin to be funded across the UK: planning rules protect assets of 'community value'
- Neighbourhood planning: proving popular with communities but process needs some simplification, says Boles
- Planning has become 'increasingly disconnected from peoples' lives' says new report on planning out poverty
- Councils should be given new powers to tackle land banking by developers, says new report on local authority innovation
- UK's first community-owned company solar farm company: developer proposes to offer shares to local people
- Community Right to Build: new guidelines for access to funds and planning permissions
- Allotment holders seek judicial review to halt development: Pickles has not applied policy 'properly nor legally', they claim
- Expansion of village green application protections planned by DCLG
- Vast majority of London planning officers do not see the benefits of neighbourhood forums, suggests survey
- Councils failing to hit housing targets should have to release land to local people who want to design their own homes
- Draft Upper Eden Neighbourhood Plan first in country to move forward to referendum
- Too many UK pubs converted into supermarkets since January 2010: CAMRA steps up campaign to change planning rules
- Parades to be proud of: new guide supports the renewal of local shopping parades
- Government Red Tape Challenge spotlights housing and construction: excessive regulation to be sent to the scrapheap
- Neighbourhood planning 'should contribute to sustainable development' says Localism Bill as it clears Lords review
- Localism Bill: Provisions enabling small local groups to call referendums have been dropped