This consultation covers a package of proposals for reform of the planning system in England, covering plan-making, development management, development contributions, and other related policy proposals. Views are sought for specific proposals and the wider package of reforms presented. Amongst the proposals views are sought on:
- Local Plans should set clear rules rather than general policies for development. General development management policies will be set out nationally, with a more focused role for Local Plans in identifying site- and area-specific requirements, alongside locally produced design codes. This would scale back the detail and duplication contained in Local Plans, while encouraging a much greater focus on design quality at the local level. Plans will be significantly shorter in length (with an expectation of a reduction in size of at least two thirds), as they will no longer contain a long list of “policies” of varying specificity – just a core set of standards and requirements for development.
- Decision-making should be faster and more certain, within firm deadlines, and should make greater use of data and digital technology.
- Ensure the planning system supports efforts to combat climate change and maximises environmental benefits, by ensuring the National Planning Policy Framework targets those areas where a reformed planning system can most effectively address climate change mitigation and adaptation and facilitate environmental improvements.
- Facilitate ambitious improvements in the energy efficiency standards for buildings to help deliver a commitment to net-zero by 2050.
- Expect design guidance and codes – which will set the rules for the design of new development – to be prepared locally to be based on genuine community involvement, so that local residents have a genuine say in the design of new development, and ensure that codes have real ‘bite’ by making them more binding on planning decisions.
- The Community Infrastructure Levy and the current system of planning obligations will be reformed as a nationally set, value-based flat rate charge (the ‘Infrastructure Levy’). A single rate or varied rates could be set. It is aimed that the new Levy will raise more revenue than under the current system of developer contributions, and deliver at least as much – if not more – on-site affordable housing as at present.
Consultation closes 29/10/20.