Accelerated planning paper due out next month, government confirms

The government's much-anticipated Accelerated Planning Green Paper is to be published next month, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has announced.

The MHCLG offices in central London
The MHCLG offices in central London

The green paper was announced in the March Spring Statement.

Speaking then, former housing secretary James Brokenshire said that the paper would "discuss how greater capacity and capability, performance management and procedural improvements can accelerate the end-to-end planning process".

"This paper will also draw on the Rosewell Review, which made recommendations to reduce the time taken to conclude planning appeal inquiries, whilst maintaining the quality of decisions," he added.

"I will also consider the case for further reforms to the compulsory purchase regime, in line with our manifesto commitment."

A statement issued by the MHCLG yesterday said the paper would be published in November.

The MHCLG said that planning application fees will be "reviewed to ensure council planning departments are properly resourced, providing more qualified planners to process applications for new homes and other proposals".

The paper would include "the potential for more fees to be refunded if councils take too long to decide on specific planning applications", it added.

This "will benefit all planning applicants, from housing developers to individual householders seeking to extend or modify their own home, as it ensures councils work at pace to decide proposals".

"Local residents will no longer have to contend with a complicated and outdated planning system, but a more user-friendly approach designed to simply the process," the statement said.

"Small developers will similarly benefit from the simplification of guidance, with the introduction of a new tiered planning system."

In addition, the statement said the government wants to "reduce planning conditions by a third".

Earlier this week, housing secretary Robert Jenrick announced at the Conservative Party Conference that the government would allow councils to raise planning application fees in return for higher quality services, and will also consider how pre-commencement conditions can be cut further.

Also this week, Jenrick announced that the government will push ahead with controversial plans to ease planning rules to allow upwards extensions of properties and the demolition of commercial buildings to make way for new homes.


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