The Government’s intention to bring forward a new Planning Bill, which aims to “modernise the planning system, so that more homes can be built”, was confirmed Tuesday (11 May), as part of the Queen’s Speech in Parliament (and widely covered in the press beforehand). While very much echoing the proposals already introduced in the Planning for the Future White Paper (our summary of which can be found here), the announcement is clearly intended to signify real progress in the step change towards a reformed and simplified planning system.

At this stage, the main elements of the Bill are purported to:

  • Change local plans, so that they provide more certainty over the type, scale and design of development permitted on different categories of land (with the final details of a radical new zoning regime still yet to be announced);
  • Significantly decrease the time it takes for developments to go through the planning system;
  • Replace the existing systems for funding affordable housing and infrastructure from development with a new more predictable and more transparent levy;
  • Use post-Brexit freedoms to simplify and enhance the framework for environmental assessments for developments;
  • Reform the framework for locally led development corporations to ensure local areas have access to appropriate delivery vehicles to support growth and regeneration.

It’s clear that the opportunities and implications of this announcement will not be fully known until the proposed Bill is laid before parliament, which is expected – though not guaranteed – in the Autumn. Nonetheless, Rapleys will be keeping a close eye on any indications on what exactly the Bill will set out, and will be delighted to discuss the Government’s initiative with you should you have any queries.

For queries in relation to the Planning Bill and other matters relating to the planning system please get in touch with Jeevan Thandi or a member of Rapleys’ nationwide Town Planning team.