Government set to introduce changes to national planning policy

Strengthening the presumption in favour of ‘starter home’ developments is one of a raft of changes to be implemented as part of a new national planning policy, writes Development Specialist Richard Carr.

Changes

Richard Carr Planning Permission s106

Richard Carr supports the NPPF changes

Ministers will soon being consultations on a number of proposed changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), with the following areas set to be discussed:

  • Broadening the definition of affordable housing
  • Increasing the density of development around commuter hubs
  • Supporting sustainable new settlements and helping development on brownfield land and small sites
  • Helping the delivery of housing allocated in plans
  • Promoting and aiding the delivery of starter homes

Starter Homes

If Ministers get the go-ahead, they plan on introducing a statutory requirement which would see a number of ‘starter homes’ delivered on all reasonably-sized housing developments. Another change would see the widening of low-cost homes to fall within the definition of affordable housing.

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55% of local planning authorities say they are under resourced

Earlier this month, Development Specialist Richard Carr discussed the lack of resources within local planning authorities and its effect on the government’s ambitious plans create a house building legacy.

This week, their plans have been further hit following a study which showed that the country’s planning system is on the brink as a result of local authorities suffering from a lack of resource.

Significant challenges

Richard Carr planning refused

Richard Carr says local planning authorities should presume to grant not start with a no!

Cities across the UK are being hit by delays of over six months on new planning applications it was revealed in an influential and authoritative annual survey.

Developers and local authorities have identified a lack of resource within planning departments as a key barrier to development, which in turn is effecting economic growth. House building has been identified as a key area for the current government with David Cameron revealing that he wants to see the UK creating 200,000 new homes per year.

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Is the RPTI fair in asking for a rise in planning application fees?

Development Specialist Richard Carr believes Richard Blyth’s recommendations that a national rise in planning application fees is introduced is unfair on developers, who already have to pay numerous taxes on developments.

More restrictions

Richard does believe that Local Planning Authorities need more resources, however asking developers to pay more in planning application fees will negatively affective the industry and slow down the country’s current development growth. In the long term this will have a big effective on the economy, which has only recently started showing signs of a recovery.

Aswell as an increase in planning fees, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has written to the Chancellor arguing against further cuts to local authority funding. Local authority planning and development services have experienced the largest cuts of any local government area since 2010.

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