Expert Insights

Expert Insights

Planning Reform – the second wave

Big Bold Steps

The long awaited White Paper entitled “Planning for the Future” is super glossy and stuffed full of photographs – get the message, only beautiful development wanted!  This consultation on major reform of the planning system closes on 29 October 2020.

The Prime Minister does not view the planning system as a thing of beauty, more a crumbling relic which has stymied the development of new homes, jobs and talent and enabled developers to dodge their obligations to improve infrastructure. It must be torn down and a new system built in its place.

The Government seeks a simpler, faster and more predictable system with less red tape.  Yet one also where the individual will have a “greater say” over what gets built. A system with quality, design and local vernacular at the forefront, inspired by Bath, Belgravia and Bournville, a world of green spaces, new parks and tree lined streets, where your neighbours will not be strangers. Lessons from the past, reset in a digital revolution for planning.

Big bold steps.

  • We explain here the proposed new system of plans, where development management policies become national and Local Plans focus on land categorisation in three categories, with detailed site parameters for allocations. Neighbourhood plans might remain.
  • We cover here how plans would be prepared, through a pared back system that would take a maximum of 30 months from start to finish.
  • Decision making is covered here where larger sites would benefit from automatic outline permission, and permission in principle and permitted development rights would provide greater certainty to developers.
  • Infrastructure delivery through a potential new Infrastructure Levy replacing section 106 as we know it and CIL is addressed here.
  • Find a wrap up of the rest of the proposals here including the need for resources.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Government is also consulting on more immediate changes to the current system – see here for details.  This covers the standard method for housing need, further details on the provision of at least 25% of all new affordable homes, as discounted First Homes, increasing the threshold for securing affordable housing to sites of 40 or 50 homes for 18 months and extending permission in principle to sites of around 150 dwellings.  The collection of data on contracts controlling land is also being considered.

Please do get in touch if you require any further information. 

This Newsletter was written by Claire Fallows, please contact her on for more information. 

Our thinking

Share this Page