Treasury confirms planning 'policy paper' to be published this month

The Treasury has confirmed that a planning 'policy paper' will be published later this month, while the long-delayed National Infrastructure Strategy will now be published in the autumn.

Rishi Sunak: Chancellor confirms planning white paper timetable as part of Plan for Jobs. Image: Flickr / MHCLG
Rishi Sunak: Chancellor confirms planning white paper timetable as part of Plan for Jobs. Image: Flickr / MHCLG

The chancellor Rishi Sunak today unveiled a £30 billion stimulus package intended to revive the British economy in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

A Treasury document published alongside Sunak's speech in House of Commons said that planning legislation will be passed this summer “to make it easier to build better homes in the places people want to live”.

"New regulations will make it easier to convert buildings for different uses, including housing, without the need for planning permission", the document said.

Last week, a statement issued by 10 Downing Street announced a raft of changes to the planning system to make it "easier to build better homes where people want to live". These are due to come into effect by September.

The Number 10 the statement also said that the government will launch a "planning policy paper" in July "setting out our plan for comprehensive reform of England's seven-decade old planning system, to introduce a new approach that works better for our modern economy and society".

Today's Treasury document said that a "policy paper" will be published in July setting out “comprehensive reforms of England’s planning system to better support the economy and release more land for housing”.

The document also confirmed that the government’s twice-delayed National Infrastructure Strategy - the government's response to the National Infrastructure Commission's first National Infrastructure Assessment - is now expected to be published alongside the autumn Budget later this year. It had initially been due to be published last autumn and then in the spring.

Previously announced funding for “shovel-ready” local infrastructure projects and town centre regeneration plans were also highlighted in the Treasury document.

These include a promise of £900 million for mayoral combined authorities and local enterprise partnerships for infrastructure, and £96 million of funding for investment in centres and high streets in 101 towns across England.

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