Following the 2020 Budget the Housing Secretary has set out proposals to bring Britain’s planning system into the 21st century as part of the governments plans to get the country building.

This includes supporting communities to deliver more homes for local people.  The Planning White Paper is due to be published in the Spring and the government claims it will offer creative solutions to establish a planning system that works for the next century including measures to speed up the planning system.  This will include further reform of planning fees and automatic rebate of planning application fees where proposals are successful at appeal.

As set out in the Budget, these planning changes will be underpinned by an additional £10.9 billion of government funding.

The government is planning to launch a national brownfield map to encourage greater building in urban areas.

Other proposals include introducing new rules to encourage building upwards, increasing density in line with local character and making the most of local infrastructure.

They will support those who want to build their own homes to find plots of land and provide help to parish councils and neighbourhood forums who wish to build a small number of homes to allow their communities to grow organically, providing homes for both the next generation and those wishing to downsize.

The government will also examine and develop the case for up to four new Development Corporations in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, subject to necessary public consultation, in or around Bedford, St Neots/Sandy, Cambourne and Cambridge. This includes plans to explore the case for a New Town at Cambridge, to accelerate new housing and infrastructure development.

To ensure that communities make sufficient land available to deliver homes in the right places, changes will be introduced to ensure that land, sites and homes come forward on time and authorities are incentivised to deliver more homes.  This will include:

  • Setting a deadline for all local authorities to have an up-to-date local plan – the government will require all local planning authorities to have up-to-date local plans by December 2023. The government will intervene where local authorities fail to meet the deadline in accordance with the existing statutory powers, considering appropriate action on a case by case basis.
  • Continuing to drive supply through the Housing Delivery Test – the government will continue with plans to raise the Housing Delivery test threshold to 75% in November 2020, incentivising local authorities to deliver on their local plans.
  • Reforming the New Homes Bonus (NHB) to reward delivery.

The government is also proposing to provide local authorities with greater funding for infrastructure, ensuring that those who strive to build enough homes for their communities and make the most of brownfield land and urban areas are able to access sufficient resources.

Creating beautiful, sustainable places is another theme of the governments plans. The government will take action to encourage more beautiful design and to ensure local authorities have the support they need to demand higher standards. Whilst the government will give local authorities the ability to ensure that new homes conform to local residents’ ideas of beauty through the planning system, they will also ensure affordable, safe and secure housing for all.

Further details of the Government’s proposals can be viewed here.

Here at J & J Design we will be keeping up to date with these new proposals, please contact us for Planning Solutions to meet your Aspirations.