Consultations on the reform of the Planning System 2020

Information from HDC Newsletter September 2020

The public are being urged to have their say on Government plans to 'streamline and modernise' the planning process.

Proposals include reforms to the 'local plan' system and making greater use of digital technology in the planning process.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government said its 'Planning for the Future' reforms would allow local planning authorities to designate land into one of three categories: for growth, renewal or protection.

It is proposed that land identified for growth would be approved for development at the same time as plan preparations, allowing for new housing and other important infrastructure to be "built quickly and efficiently", providing plans meet local design standards.

Protected land – including the green belt – will continue to be safeguarded under the proposals.

Have your say before 29 October 2020 at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future or email planningforthefuture@communities.gov.uk 

Alongside this consultation, the Government is carrying out a technical consultation on 'Changes to the Current Planning System'. This focuses on changes to the current planning system ahead of proposals made in the Planning White paper

The consultation includes the following:

  • changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need

  • securing of First Homes through developer contributions

  • temporarily lifting the small sites threshold

  • extending the current Permission in Principle to major development

Have your say before 1 October 2020 at www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-the-current-planning-system   

Alternatively you can email your response to the questions in this consultation to: TechnicalPlanningConsultation@communities.gov.uk  
You can also respond in writing. Further details can be found via the first link above.

Information from LRALC

LRALC – "the proposals as they stand would dramatically change the way planning matters were dealt with in England, and the impact on local communities and parishes could be huge".

NALC Policy Officer 10/8/20

"Last week the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government issued three consultations on reform of the planning system:

Changes to the current planning system (NALC deadline for responses 17 September)

Planning for the future - the planning white paper (NALC deadline for responses 15 October)

Transparency and competition: a call for evidence on data on land control (NALC deadline for responses 16 October)

Please find attached briefings corresponding to each consultation. Could I ask all county associations to forward these briefings on to member local (parish and town) councils in their area and encourage them to respond to NALC on this very important issue by emailing policycomms@nalc.gov.uk. Please note the individual deadlines for each consultation.

We would also welcome responses from county associations, again to policycomms@nalc.gov.uk by the above deadlines.

I do apologise for unhelpful timing of this consultation and the short timeframes given for responses, unfortunately this is largely beyond NALC's control."

Consultation  - Changes to the current planning system  - deadline 1/10/20

Background 

Government consultation on Changes to the Planning System - The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is carrying out a technical consultation on Changes to the Planning System. This is a technical paper to accompany the Planning White Paper 'Planning for the Future'.

The consultation includes the following:

  • changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need

  • securing of First Homes through developer contributions

  • temporarily lifting the small sites threshold

  • extending the current Permission in Principle to major development

The consultation by MHCLG will close on 1 October 2020. You may read the consultation document and respond online by going to the following website: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/changes-to-the-current-planning-system

Alternatively you can email your response to the questions in this consultation to: TechnicalPlanningConsultation@communities.gov.uk

You can also respond in writing. Further details can be found via the first link above.

Consultation - Planning for the future (White Paper) - deadline 29/10/20

Planning for the future consultation

NALC Briefing Note "Planning for the Future

Proposals and questions "pulled out" from consultation document

(This document was put together by another clerk and kindly shared on the SLCC Forum)

Background

LRALC 10/8/20

Robert Jenrick, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government published a White Paper last week called "Planning for the future" (https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future) which proposes a radical overhaul of the planning and development control system in England.

It suggests that the new system will be "One that is simpler, clearer and quicker to navigate, delivering results in weeks and months rather than years and decades.".

The headline proposal is that, through Local Plans, all land will fall into one of three categories: Growth areas suitable for substantial development, Renewal areas suitable for development, and areas that are Protected. In Growth areas no planning permission would be required, leading critics to describe the White Paper as a "Developer's Charter".

At first sight the White Paper appears to be an attack on representative local democracy where councillors at parish and town councils and Local Planning Authorities will have little say over development in their area. The government is consulting on the White Paper for 12 weeks from 6 August 2020 to 29 October 2020 and LRALC has requested that the National Association of Local Councils (NALC) gives this matter the highest priority and that the whole sector, from NALC down to the smallest parish meeting responds to the consultation to make it clear that removing local determination will have a detrimental effect on housing provision. We are sure nobody wants a return to the 1970s free for all, when so much of what was developed then was later deemed to be wholly inappropriate. More details and a briefing paper will be circulated in due course.

You may wish to consider the White Paper at your own councils, in fact we would strongly recommend that you do.

Gary Kirk's Feedback

- a key proposal in the White Paper is specifically about neighbourhood planning, and should give some comfort. It says:

"Neighbourhood Plans should be retained as an important means of community input ... Since statutory Neighbourhood Plans became part of the system in 2011, over 2,600 communities have started the process of neighbourhood planning to take advantage of the opportunity to prepare a plan for their own areas – and over 1,000 plans have been successfully passed at referendum. They have become an important tool in helping to 'bring the democracy forward' in planning, by allowing communities to think proactively about how they would like their areas to develop. Therefore, we think Neighbourhood Plans should be retained in the reformed planning system, but we will want to consider whether their content should become more focused to reflect our proposals for Local Plans... By making it easier to develop Neighbourhood Plans we wish to encourage their continued use and indeed to help spread their use further, particularly in towns and cities. We are also interested in whether there is scope to extend and adapt the concept so that very small areas – such as individual streets – can set their own rules for the form of development which they are happy to see ..."

Planning for the future consultation - Gary Kirk's thoughts

Society of Local Council Clerks
Locality

Consultation - Transparency and Competition: a call for evidence on data on land control, deadline 30/10/20

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