The consultation, published yesterday by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), says that the government proposes to "make clearer in national policy that substantial weight should be given to the benefits of using brownfield land for housing (in effect, a form of 'presumption' in favour of brownfield land)".
The document adds: "We propose to make it clear that development proposals for housing on brownfield sites should be supported, unless overriding conflicts with the local plan or the National Planning Policy Framework can be demonstrated and cannot be mitigated."
The consultation document also says that the government wants to ensure that all proposals for sustainable development on small sites of less than ten units are "strongly supported by national policy".
According to the document, the government intends to apply the same approach identified for brownfield land to "other small sites, provided they are within existing settlement boundaries and well-designed to promote or reinforce local distinctiveness. In doing so we will retain protection against unwanted development of back gardens".
The government also intends to "make clear that proposals for development on small sites immediately adjacent to settlement boundaries should be carefully considered and supported if they are sustainable", the document adds.
The consultation also invites views on whether national planning policy "should make clear that local planning authorities develop clear, positive local plan policies against which to assess windfall applications for small sites. This plan-led approach would increase transparency and create greater certainty for developers on whether these sites will come forward for development".
Consultation on proposed changes to national planning policy is available here.