New housing and planning reforms


A new Government white paper ‘Planning for the Future’ proposes an overhaul of the planning process in England.

The Government recently published a White Paper setting out their proposals for changes to the planning system in England called ‘Planning for the Future’ and opened a Planning for the Future Consultation which will last until 29 October 2020.

At the same time, a linked consultation was published, detailing proposed changes to the current planning system, which ended on 1 October 2020.

The White Paper seeks views on proposals to speed up the delivery of new homes by modernising the planning process.

The proposals in the White Paper will require primary legislation, however, which will take some time to enact. In the meantime, the Government is proposing short-term changes to improve the existing planning system which can be enacted immediately. These are detailed in the second consultation.

Key points of the proposals in the White Paper include:
• Fully digitising the planning and consultation process
• A move away from traditional forms of communication and greater use of digital communication and social media
• Changes to the way affordable housing, transport and other critical infrastructure is funded through levies on new developments
• A new national design code and fast-tracking planning permission for developments that comply with this code
• A nationally determined target for the number of new homes to be delivered in each local authority area
• A new framework for assessing the environmental impact of housing development
• Discounted homes for first time buyers and key workers (the ‘First Homes’ scheme).

The four main proposals of the consultation on changes to the current planning system are:
• Changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need
• Securing delivery of First Homes through developer contributions until new planning reforms are enacted
• Supporting small and medium-sized builders by temporarily lifting the small sites threshold
• Extending the current ‘Permission in Principle’ policy, enabling landowners and developers to swiftly secure permission for housing development in principle on sites.

Planning for the Future Consultation before the 29 October 2020.

For more information, visit: Launch of Planning for the Future and Planning for the Future Explained