Developers pessimistic on Localism Bill planning reforms

Only 15 per cent of developers feel the Localism Bill will speed up the planning process, according to a report.

New homes: only 16 per cent thought the Bill would lead to an increase in housebuilding
New homes: only 16 per cent thought the Bill would lead to an increase in housebuilding

Research carried out by law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner found that only 15 per cent of developers thought the Bill would lead to an increase in commercial development, while just 16 per cent thought the Bill would lead to an increase in housebuilding.

And only seven per cent of the 100 developers that responded to the survey said the Localism Bill would make planning decisions "more predictable" for developers.

But 76 per cent of developers thought giving the mayor of London the ability to designate "Mayoral Development Corporations" – which could involve taking away development control powers away from London boroughs – would "assist regeneration more effectively" than leaving it to the relevant borough.

The survey also found that:

- 67 per cent of developers thought the Localism Bill would give elected representatives greater power over planning decisions

- 82 per cent felt it would give local people greater control of development in their area

- 68 per cent thought that the right to instigate local referendums should be extended to developers

- 86 per cent thought developers should have the right to submit their own proposals to councils for local plans along the same lines as neighbourhood plans.

"Most respondents see the Government’s proposed measures as capable of furthering local democratic involvement in development and planning decisions, but could not align this with delivery of more development", the report said.

"Only a minority, roughly 1 in 6, felt that this would lead to an overall increase in house-building and commercial delivery."


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