‘Planning for the Future’ – What can we expect in a new Planning Bill?
May 2022 – the situation now.
The White Paper published in 2021, with radical proposals for making it far easier for developers to get permission for building on green-field sites on the edges of our towns and villages, has now, it would appear, been largely forgotten. Michael Gove, current Sec. of State for Levelling up, Housing and Communities, has confirmed a Bill will be presented to parliament in the next year which will contain measures to overhaul England’s planning system, with “local design codes” introduced which would allow residents to decide what sort of new buildings should be allowed in their area. The Government “hopes this will encourage communities to allow more development overall, in time reducing the cost of housing and letting more people own their own home’“.
(This comment still pays lip service to the myth that releasing more land for housing will lead to houses being built at a faster rate, despite the Government’s own report on the subject, prepared by Sir Oliver Letwin in 2018, which showed that in a commercial situation, developers build houses at an ‘absorption rate’, that is no faster than can be sold at current market prices. Land with planning permission remains unbuilt on until the market allows the houses to be sold to prospective buyers at a profit to developers.)
What exactly the Bill will contain we will have to wait and see, but we have reason to be hopeful that voter opinion expressed in a number of key bye-elections may have strongly influenced the government’s thinking in this vital area of policy for us.
For a fuller update on the planning situation, click on this link.