Yesterday the Government published a consultation draft white paper, ‘Planning for the Future’, which sets out the Government’s intention to oversee a complete overhaul of the English planning system as part of its newly adopted Build, Build, Build agenda. At Globe we are currently in the process of digesting and analysing the measures set out within the white paper and will publish a further blog post next week providing our take . However, we know that many will have some immediate questions as to what this means in layman’s terms, so we have provided a short outline below of what we consider to be the real headlines for our clients:
Is this as radical as promised?
At this very initial stage the white paper does appear to set out a wholesale reform of the planning system, with all local planning authorities being required to produce a completely new set of documents upon which they will make their decisions. It is worth noting that the Government are proposing to allocate all land in England into one of three categories – land for growth, for renewal, and for protection – with different levels of planning permission required dependent on which of these three areas any given site is located within.
Is anything happening now?
It is important to recognise that the white paper is currently published for consultation only, so, we cannot expect any of the proposed changes to come into force in the immediate future. The proposals set out by the white paper will be consulted on for three months, prior to undergoing several review stages before we are in a position to see any real change to the existing planning system.
Whilst we are therefore very much in a ‘watch this space’ stage, the Government have issued various significant changes to both Permitted Development Rights and the Use Classes Order which will come into effect during August – you can read more about those here: https://www.globeconsultants.co.uk/alterations-to-permitted-development-rights/
Is this good news for developers?
The overall aim of the white paper is to reform the planning system to facilitate quicker decision making, with more certainty about what development will be permitted in any given location, and to generally make the system easier and more straightforward for applicants. The white paper also promises to ‘revolutionise’ how ordinary people interact with planning applications, which means an end to site notices tied up on lampposts in preference of an online-based consultation system.
In a bid to cut further red tape, and ensure the system is fairer for all, the White Paper also outlines the Government’s aims to reform CIL and s106 planning obligations systems, setting a national, “value-based flat rate charge” under a new Infrastructure Levy. The ambition is that the Infrastructure Levy paid by developers is flexible to market conditions and will be charged on the final value of a development, rather than an established up-front figure.
However, it is almost assured that there will be changes made to the proposals as a result of the consultation, and so we suggest these measures are very much viewed as indicative guidelines of the types of reform we may see at a later, finalised stage.
What should I be talking to Globe about?
With no changes to the planning system to be enacted in the short-term, clients can rest assured that Globe’s valued role in overseeing the submission of planning applications, appeals, discharging planning conditions, in addition to our other wide-ranging planning services, will remain. However, as we progress towards a new planning system, Globe remains committed to providing informed, efficient and straight-forward advice regarding the planning world. Accordingly, please do not hesitate to get in touch should you have a development proposal you are seeking planning advice on!