Planning for the future, September 2020

Government White Paper: Planning for the future

In August, the Government issued a consultation document seeking comment on plans to radically reform the planning system. The Government says the current regime does not supply enough new homes, so there will now be a ‘top down’ ambition for 300,000 new homes each year. There will also be a focus on simplifying Local Plans and land will be zoned for different levels of redevelopment. Conservation Areas are generally exempt. Section 106 agreements and Community Charge levies will be abandoned and replaced by a nationally-set Infrastructure Levy. There will be a new system of ‘Environmental Assessments’ to reduce carbon emissions by 2050 and a ‘Sustainable Development Test’.

The changes are pretty widespread, but what will be of interest to the Society is the introduction of local Design Codes and the appointment of Chief Officer for Design. The paper also promotes high quality design and ‘fast track for beauty’! The paper claims it will be quicker and easier to adapt historic buildings and improve energy efficiency. There is also reference to the need for more community involvement with the planning process.

The Society has already responded to a Civic Voice questionnaire stressing the importance of amenity groups such as our own. We intend to respond in a similar manner to the Government’s latest consultation document.

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