Government reveals plans to reform ‘sluggish’ planning system

The government has revealed its plans to reform the planning system, which it claims is ‘sluggish’ and ‘outdated’.

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick has today (6 August) published details of a new white paper, which he said would ‘cut red tape’ and make planning decisions ‘simple and transparent’.

The details of the white paper were first trailed in the Sunday Telegraph last weekend, which prompted criticism from local government leaders that it could lead to poorer quality homes.

Under the proposals, local communities will be consulted from the very beginning of the planning process.

Green spaces would also be protected for future generations by allowing for more building on brownfield land and all new streets to be tree lined

And every local authority would have to develop and agree a local housing plan within 30 months.

A new simpler national levy would be introduced to replace the current system of developer contributions and all new homes to be ‘zero carbon ready’, with no new homes delivered under the new system needed to be retrofitted.

‘Our complex planning system has been a barrier to building the homes people need; it takes seven years to agree local housing plans and five years just to get a spade in the ground,’ said Mr Jenrick.

‘These once in a generation reforms will lay the foundations for a brighter future, providing more homes for young people and creating better quality neighbourhoods and homes across the country.

‘We will cut red tape, but not standards, placing a higher regard on quality, design and the environment than ever before. Planning decisions will be simple and transparent, with local democracy at the heart of the process,’ added the housing secretary.

But Labour’s shadow housing minister, Mike Amesbury said it was a ‘developer’s charter’, which will see communities side-lined in decisions and ‘denied vital funding for building schools, clinics and community infrastructure’.

‘These proposals will only serve to blight communities with a new wave of slum housing – the government’s own independent report even warned of the poor quality of housing built outside the planning system,’ he added.

‘This government needs to build the high-quality, genuinely affordable, environmentally sustainable housing that this country desperately needs.”

Photo Credit – Free-Photos (Pixabay)

Jamie Hailstone

Journalist  

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