Judge quashes council's small sites policy but sympathises over 'constant changes' in national policy
A judge has quashed a North Yorkshire local authority's interim policy for affordable housing contributions, including its policy relating to affordable housing contributions for small sites, but has recognised the difficulties facing councils 'assailed by constant changes in the legislative regime and national policy'.
The government is unlikely to start stepping in to enforce its 'early 2017' deadline for local plan production until a revised version of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is in place, planning minister Gavin Barwell has said.
A north-west Surrey authority has objected to its neighbour's proposals to safeguard a single large-scale strategic site in the green belt for new homes.
The introduction of a standardised methodology for assessing housing need risks reducing housing requirements in the North and weakening economic growth prospects in the region, a consultancy has warned.
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Government proposals to put housing need and land supply assessments on a standard footing offer a way out of endless arguments in plan examinations and appeal inquiries, says Derek Stebbing.
Proposals in the Housing White Paper will open planning authorities up to unplanned development if they fail to meet government targets for housing growth.
Observers say a government pledge to intervene where councils have not made sufficient progress on their plans has led to an uptick in plan-making activity, but authorities which have recently delayed work on their strategies say they are unconcerned about the threat.
Two local planning authorities have paused work on their local plans, attributing the delays to anticipated changes to planning rules expected to be set out in the forthcoming Housing White Paper.