As expected, the latest component of the “Great Planning Reform” was flagged up by George Osborne in today’s Budget –even though it won’t actually come out until next week. Here’s how the Planning press has reported the news.
“…the big news from today is that we now know that the NPPF will be published on Tuesday 27 March. Osborne has promised new “growth-friendly” planning rules and has again heavily criticised the planning system.
“You can’t earn your future if you can’t get planning permission,” he said. “Global businesses have diverted specific investments that would have created hundreds of jobs in some of the most deprived communities in Britain to countries like Germany and the Netherlands, because they couldn’t get planning permission here.”
Osborne said that the presumption in favour of sustainable development will be introduced and that the new policy will come into effect on Tuesday, which seems to effectively rule out any transitional arrangements.”
from The Planning Blog.
So what does this actually mean for people trying to get development going?
- There will be a more flexible approach to planning applications that do not fit neatly with current local planning policies but are for what most of us would see as sensible developments;
- There will probably be a window of opportunity – not for all developments – but for developments with sound sustainability credentials;
- Making the “sustainability case” will be crucial (it can’t be assumed that the planning officer dealing with an application will just “get it” automatically);
- Working with local communities is also likely to be crucial in many cases, as Neighbourhood Plans start to take hold as a significant consideration when planning applications are being decided;
- As we all know, local communities are always development friendly – so it will be important to make sure that existing planning permissions are safeguarded (“use it or lose it” should be the guiding principle!);
- Local authority planners are going to have to adjust their ways of thinking – and are going to have to think more laterally!
As always, we are here to help, so if you would like to discuss the implications of any of this with us please do not hesitate to get in touch.