A major overhaul to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the first in six years, has been launched by the Government.
The new move will require councils and developers to work with community groups to ensure those affected by new developments will have a say on how they look and feel.
Housing Secretary, Sajid Javid said, “Reforming the planning system is the crucial next step to building the homes the country needs. There is no silver bullet to this problem but we’re re-writing the rules on planning so we can take action on all fronts.”
The reforms will focus on a number of areas including maximising the use of land, strengthened protections for the Green Belt and a greater emphasis on converting planning permissions into homes. It will also look at introducing new quality standards and aims to deliver more affordable homes.
Richard Beresford, Chief Executive of the NFB, said: “The Government can do more to tackle the housing crisis, but it needs the entire housing supply chain to support its drive as well as challenge its ambition.
“We would like to see the Government more ambitious on planning reform and the green belt, but we welcome the direction the NPPF review has taken. Local government has a big part to play in enabling the right homes in the right places.”
John Acres, MRTPI, President, The Royal Town Planning Institute, said: “We are delighted to be co-launching the consultation on the new National Planning Policy Framework today and we encourage the planning profession and others who care about planning and what it can do, to feed back to government.”
Brian Berry Chief Executive of the FMB, said: “Small sites tend to deliver more quickly and smaller builders, for whom short term financing is more of a concern, have every incentive to build and sell quickly. More opportunities for these smaller developments will diversify the market, boost capacity and speed up delivery. The Government has clearly recognised this, and is today setting out a raft of changes to national planning policy that will encourage more small sites to come forward. We particularly welcome the move to ensure that at least 20% of the sites identified for housing in local authority’s plans are smaller sites.”
Neil Carberry, CBI Managing Director for Infrastructure and People, said: “It’s encouraging the Government is looking to further improve the planning system, including maximising the use of land and ensuring the sorely needed diverse mix of homes is built. Businesses, the Government and Local Authorities must work collaboratively to develop new homes across the country, as well as the infrastructure – such as roads and schools – to fully support communities.”
Dominic Martin, Business Development Director, Atlas Residential, said: “We welcome PM Theresa May’s push for reform to the National Planning Policy Framework. In short the situation remains that we need more homes and both Local Authorities and developers /housebuilders have their part to play.
“From a Build to Rent perspective, one of the biggest barriers, as cited in an industry forum only last month, is a lack of awareness by Local Authorities in many secondary and tertiary UK towns and cities about what this new product really is and how it can benefit their local renting community.”
The consultation on the NPPF is available here and will run until Thursday 10th May. The consultation on reforming developer contributions to affordable housing and infrastructure is available here and will run until Thursday 10th May.