6th Sept 2012 Planning Changes - 3pm

September 7, 2012


Summary of proposals:

Affordable Housing

  • Government debt guarantee for up to £40 billion of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of Housing Associations and private sector developers.
  • An additional 5,000 homes built for rent at market rates in line with proposals outlined in Sir Adrian Montague's report to Government on boosting the private rented sector. £200m investment in housing sites (not sure what this entails though).
  • £10bn debt guarantee scheme for private rented sector and affordable housing development – expressions of interest sought from 7 September.
  • £280m (+ match funding from house builders) to extend FirstBuy scheme until March 2014 for first time buyers.

Speeding up development

  • Accelerating large housing schemes – Government will work with local authorities, scheme promoters and local communities to accelerate delivery. These will be sites where there is local support for growth, strong demand for new homes, and good prospects for early delivery. (no detail on what this means or how it will happen).
  • Accelerate disposal of surplus public sector land
  • Legislation to allow applications to be decided by PINS if the local authority has a track record of consistently poor performance in the speed or quality of its decisions – "special measures" for poor performing authorities.
  • More transparent reporting of council performance on planning – CLG to work with the Local Government Association to increase the use of Planning Performance Agreements for major schemes.
  • Planning Inspectors to be given more power to initiate an award of costs in planning appeal proceedings, where it is clear that an application has not been handled as it should have been with due process.
  • Consultation shortly on options for speeding up planning appeal decisions, PINS instructed to prioritise major economic and housing related appeals.
  • Extension to an existing measure that allows developers the chance to seek additional time to get their sites up and running before planning permission expires, for an additional year.
  • Reviewing the thresholds for categories of Major Infrastructure projects, with new categories for commercial and business development (a "major infrastructure fast track" process?).

Viability of development

  • Legislation to be introduced, to be effective in early 2013, which will allow any developer of sites which are unviable because of the number of affordable homes, to appeal with immediate effect. The Planning Inspectorate will be instructed to assess how many affordable homes would need to be removed from the Section 106 agreement for the site to be viable in current economic conditions. The Planning Inspectorate would then, as necessary, set aside the existing Section 106 agreement for a three year period, in favour of a new agreement with fewer affordable homes. Councils are encouraged to take the opportunity before legislation comes into effect to seek negotiated solutions where possible.
  • Consultation on legislation to allow renegotiation of 106 agreements from before April 2010.
  • Fundamental and urgent review, led by Government working with interested parties, to rationalise local and national standards. This review will result in a clear plan of action by next spring, including legislative approaches if a significant rationalisation cannot be agreed.

Green Belt

  • Support for principle of Green Belt but encouragement for councils to use the flexibilities set out in the NPPF to "tailor the extent of Green Belt" in their areas to reflect local circumstances.
  • Encouragement for the more productive use of brownfield land in the Green Belt.
  • Priority given to Local Plan Examinations involving review of Green Belt.

Permitted Development (PD) rights

  • Consultation expected shortly on a three-year increase in PD rights in non protected areas
  • No specific details included but suggestions that no permission needed for 6m extension to semi or terraced dwelling or 8m extension to detached dwelling. Also PD rights for extensions to business premises of 100 sq m expansion for shops or 200 sq m expansion for industrial units.
  • Introduction of PD rights to enable change of use from commercial to residential purposes, while providing the opportunity for authorities to seek a local exemption where they believe there will be an adverse economic impact.

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Reader Comments

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9/17/2012 6:31:28 PM, Steve Darrington says:

We are in the long process of applying for planning permission for a 1 st floor extension on an already existing ground floor. When are the new regulations applicable? Can we start are build? What are our limitation? Regards Steve

9/28/2012 3:03:15 PM, amanda says:

Steve. Thats it just think of yourself. Just wait until your neighbours decide to build a massive extension overlooking your garden and you will have no power to stop it and then your property floods due to the lack of drainage. This bill is crazy and will blight this country.

10/24/2012 3:00:12 AM, Virdi says:

I have a detatched property in Harrow, which falls in London Borough of Brent. I wish to extend ground floor which is already extended by 3M approx 20 Years to an additional 3.5M, making total GF extension to 6.5M.
When is the new legisation coming into effect for me to extend GF by an additional 3.5M under PD?

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