According to propertywire.com new measures in the UK’s updated Neighbourhood Planning Bill will support more house building and will give local councils more say over housing developments, writes Richard Carr.
New Housing and Planning Minister Gavin Barwell has promised that the new bill will speed up and strengthen the neighbourhood planning process by making it easier for plans to be revised if local circumstances change.
Barwell told propertywire.com: “We need to build more homes and this Bill is the first of a number of measures to deliver on that. We have already built more than 900,000 homes since 2010 and now this Bill will help speed up delivery of the further new homes our country needs and ensure our foot is still firmly on the pedal.
“The process can be unnecessarily uncertain and complex. Measures in the Bill will clarify the process which is currently based on a patchwork of statute and case law and make the system fairer for all parties,” he added.
Richard Carr believes that the current bill has unnecessary and unreasonable planning conditions which can prevent developments starting projects on time – or at all. He believes giving local councils more control is a good move.
Richard also believes that up until this point many of the Neighbourhood Plans focused on trying to prevent development instead of promoting it.
His thoughts were shared by James Bainbridge, head of Planning and Development at firm Carter Jonas.
“Some councils think about the bigger picture, but at parish level there is the tendency to adopt a parochial view that resists development as much as possible. Neighbourhoods as they are defined often don’t have the ability to see the bigger picture to deliver the scale of infrastructure that is required,” he explained.
“A good example of this is a village that was supportive of a new ring round, but didn’t want the housing that would fund it. Borough and District Councils should be making plans, as they can take a wider view of their particular geography or local economy and they have the specialist resources to do it.”
As the new bill will be one of Barwell’s first major announcements in his new role, Richard Carr hopes to see significant process in helping developers tackle the country’s housing problem.