Further planning changes set out in infrastructure plan

The government has announced that it will take steps to speed up section 106 negotiations to reduce delays in the planning process and will publish plans to make the compulsory purchase regime 'clearer, faster and fairer'.

Treasury: unveiled National Infrastructure Plan 2014 this morning
Treasury: unveiled National Infrastructure Plan 2014 this morning

The National Infrastructure Plan 2014, published this morning by the Treasury, says that the government believes that the compulsory purchase regime would benefit from "streamlining and updating".

"Proposals will be published for consultation at Budget 2015 to make processes clearer, faster and fairer, with the aim of bringing forward more brownfield land for development," the document said.

It added that the government would take steps to speed up section 106 negotiations, "including revised guidance, consulting on a faster process for reaching agreement, and considering how timescales for agreement could be introduced, and improving transparency on the use of section 106 funds".

The National Infrastructure Plan also said that measures would be taken forward to "ensure that the principle of development need only be established once, to give greater certainty and allow locally-supported development to proceed more quickly".

The document also said that the threshold under which local planning authorities would be placed in special measures is to be raised from 40 per cent to 50 per cent of major decisions made on time.

The threshold will be kept under review, according to the document. Latest planning performance statistics show that 24 district authorities decided fewer than 50 per cent of major applications on time over two years to the end of June 2014 (see infographic, below).

The document also says that a National Policy Statement (NPS) on transport would be laid before Parliament this month for consideration and a formal vote. NPSs guide decisions on Nationally Strategic Infrastructure Projects.

National Infrastructure Plan 2014 is available here.

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