The Government announces its intention to make further changes to the planning system, including PD rights …

The following HM Treasury document (aka the "productivity plan") sets out the Government's intention to make further changes to the planning system, including permitted development rights:

  • July 2015: Fixing the foundations - Creating a more prosperous nation (pdf) (link).

KEY QUOTES FROM THE ABOVE DOCUMENT (relating to the planning system):

  • Note: Any text that's emphasised within the above document is shown below in bold.
  • Note: Any proposals that will (or might) affect PD rights are shown below in red.
  • Note: The government press release for the above document is available here.

Fixed and mobile infrastructure:

  • "7.3 The government will take decisive action to make it easier for the market to roll out the fixed and mobile infrastructure that the UK needs:
    - the government proposes to extend permitted development rights to taller mobile masts in both protected and non-protected areas in England. A call for evidence on these proposals has been published today
    - the government is also considering making the 2013 planning relaxations supporting fixed high speed broadband infrastructure rollout permanent".
  • Note: See pages 10, 35 and 74 within the above document.
  • Note: The above "call for evidence" runs until 21/08/2015, and is available here.

Local plans and higher density housing:

  • "9.10 ... The government will take further action to ensure that local authorities put local plans in place by a set deadline to be confirmed by summer recess. The government will publish league tables, setting out local authorities’ progress on providing a plan for the jobs and homes needed locally. Where they are not, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government will intervene for those local authorities that do not produce them, to arrange for local plans to be written, in consultation with local people.".
  • "9.11 ... The government will bring forward proposals to significantly streamline the length and process of local plans, helping to speed up the process of implementing or amending a plan. The government will also bring forward proposals to improve cooperation between local authorities. The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that local authorities should look to meet their housing need, as far as is possible within constraints. Where they cannot meet their need in full, they should cooperate with other local authorities to do so. The government will strengthen guidance to improve the operation of the duty to cooperate on key housing and planning issues, to ensure that housing and infrastructure needs are identified and planned for.".
  • "9.12 Areas around commuter transport hubs offer significant potential for new homes. The government will work with mayors in London and across the country to use new powers in the Devolution Bill to use development corporations to deliver higher-density development in designated areas. The government will consider how policy can support higher density housing around key commuter hubs. The government will also consider how national policy and guidance can ensure that unneeded commercial land can be released for housing.".
  • Note: See pages 11 and 44-45 within the above document.

Brownfield land and compulsory purchase orders (CPOs):

  • "9.15 The government has already committed to legislating for statutory registers of brownfield land suitable for housing in England. The government will go further by legislating to grant automatic permission in principle on brownfield sites identified on those registers, subject to the approval of a limited number of technical details. On brownfield sites, this will give England a ‘zonal’ system, like those seen in many other countries, reducing unnecessary delay and uncertainty for brownfield development.".
  • "9.16 In the spring, the government consulted on reforms to bring forward more brownfield land for development by making the compulsory purchase regime clearer, faster and fairer for all parties. This first round of reforms will be introduced through legislation in this session of Parliament. A number of additional proposals have been received from that consultation; the government is considering the case for these additional compulsory purchase reforms to further modernise the system, and will bring forward proposals in the autumn. These will allow local authorities and others to drive forward and shape brownfield development, and will not alter the principle of Secretary of State sign-off on compulsory purchase orders.".
  • Note: See pages 11 and 45-47 within the above document.

Nationally significant infrastructure projects:

  • "9.17 ... The government will ...
    - legislate to allow major infrastructure projects with an element of housing to apply through the Nationally Significant Infrastructure Regime (NSIP)".
  • Note: See page 46 within the above document.

LPAs "designated" under section 62A of the TCPA 1990 (aka "special measures"):

  • "9.17 ... The government will ...
    - tighten the planning performance regime, so that local authorities making 50% or fewer of decisions on time are at risk of designation
    - legislate to extend the performance regime to minor applications, so that local authorities processing those applications too slowly are at risk of designation".
  • Note: See page 46 within the above document.

Minor development (and the planning guarantee):

  • "9.17 ... The government will ...
    - introduce a fast-track certificate process for establishing the principle of development for minor development proposals, and significantly tighten the ‘planning guarantee’ for minor applications"
    .
  • Note: See page 46 within the above document.

Sustainability:

  • "9.17 ... The government will ...
    - repeat its successful target from the previous Parliament to reduce net regulation on housebuilders. The government does not intend to proceed with the zero carbon Allowable Solutions carbon offsetting scheme, or the proposed 2016 increase in on-site energy efficiency standards, but will keep energy efficiency standards under review, recognising that existing measures to increase energy efficiency of new buildings should be allowed time to become established".
  • Note: See page 46 within the above document.

s106 agreements:

  • "9.17 ... The government will ...
    introduce a dispute resolution mechanism for section 106 agreements, to speed up negotiations and allow housing starts to proceed more quickly"
    .
  • Note: See page 46 within the above document.

Mayor of London:

  • "9.20 ... the Chancellor set out in the Long Term Economic Plan for London that the government would enter into discussions for the devolution of major new planning powers to the Mayor of London, beginning with powers over wharves and sightlines, to be used in consultation with Londoners. The government confirms its intention to proceed with devolution of wharves and sightlines, and will also look to bring forward proposals to allow the Mayor to call in planning applications of 50 homes or more, allowing him to support more planning applications that will help to meet London’s needs.".
  • "9.21 As the Mayor’s housing strategy set out, any increase in housing supply in London will be overwhelmingly brownfield development, and is likely to involve increasing densities. Helping London to ‘build up’ in this way will reduce the need to ‘build out’, helping to provide homes for Londoners while protecting the countryside. Planning processes can create unnecessary burdens for proposals seeking to increase density on brownfield land. The government is keen to support the Mayor’s aims, where there is local consent. The government will therefore work with the Mayor of London to bring forward proposals to remove the need for planning permission for upwards extensions for a limited number of stories up to the height of an adjoining building, where neighbouring residents do not object. In cases where objections are received, the application will be considered in the normal way, focussed on the impact on the amenity to neighbours.".
  • Note: See pages 11, 13, 45-47 and 73 within the above document.

Mayor of Greater Manchester:

  • "9.22 The government will devolve new powers to the future Mayor of Greater Manchester, giving them the tools to drive forward complex, brownfield developments. The government will bring forward proposals to allow the mayor to produce Development Corporations, and promote Compulsory Purchase Orders. These powers will be exercisable with the consent of the Cabinet member representing the borough in which the power is to be used.".
  • Note: See pages 11, 13, 45-47, 71 and 73 within the above document.

Starter homes (and neighbourhood plans):

  • "9.23 The government will deliver its commitment to get 200,000 Starter Homes built by 2020, at a 20% discount for young first time buyers. The government is bringing forward proposals to help deliver this commitment, which include: The government is bringing forward proposals ..., which include:
    - requiring local authorities to plan proactively for the delivery of Starter Homes
    - extending the current exception site policy, and strengthening the presumption in favour of Starter Home developments, starting with unviable or underused brownfield land for retail, leisure and institutional uses
    - enabling communities to allocate land for Starter Home developments, including through neighbourhood plans
    - bringing forward proposals to ensure every reasonably sized housing site includes a proportion of Starter Homes
    - implementing regulations to exempt these developments from the Community Infrastructure Levy, and re-affirming through planning policy that section 106 contributions for other affordable housing, and tariff-style general infrastructure funds, will not be sought for them
    - putting in place new arrangements to monitor their delivery".
  • Note: See pages 11, 44, 47 and 74 within the above document.

Enterprise Zones:

  • "15.15 The government is inviting Local Enterprise Partnerships to bring forward bids for a new round of Enterprise Zones. They will be able to work with DCLG to develop their business cases, and only proposals with strong economic potential will be awarded Enterprise Zone status.".
  • "15.19 The government supports the extension of the Birmingham Enterprise Zone, which will support Birmingham to build on the government’s investment in HS2 to generate further benefits for the city of Birmingham, and will consider a business case as part of the Spending Review.".
  • "15.21 ... the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will launch a new ’10 Point Plan’ for rural productivity. This will set out the government’s ambitions to:
    - as part of the new bidding round, encourage towns and districts within rural areas to work with LEPs on producing bids to become an Enterprise Zone, so that rural areas can also benefit from the new programme"
    .
  • Note: See pages 73-74 within the above document.

Agricultural-to-residential conversions:

  • "15.21 ... the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will launch a new ’10 Point Plan’ for rural productivity. This will set out the government’s ambitions to ...
    - review the current threshold for agricultural buildings to convert to residential, to further support delivery of new homes in rural areas".