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

In July 2015, the HM Treasury document titled "Fixing the foundations - Creating a more prosperous nation" (aka the "productivity plan") was published (for further info, please view this post). Now, in August 2015, the following DEFRA document (aka the "rural productivity plan") also sets out the Government's intention to make further changes to the planning system, including permitted development rights:

  • August 2015: Towards a one nation economy - A 10-point plan for boosting productivity in rural areas (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:

  • [Page 12] "To support fixed high speed broadband infrastructure, the government is considering making permanent the planning relaxations introduced in 2013.".
  • [Page 13] "The government proposes to extend permitted development rights to taller mobile masts in both protected and non-protected areas in England to support improved mobile connectivity, subject to conclusions from the Call for Evidence which closes on 21 August 2015.".
  • Note: See pages 5 and 11-13 within the above document.
  • Note: The above "Call for Evidence" (which ran until 21/08/2015) is available here.

Enterprise Zones:

  • [Page 17] "The government wants all areas in England to have the opportunity to bid for Enterprise Zone status and in the current bidding round preference will be given to proposals which involve smaller towns, districts and rural areas. The government will continue to encourage such towns, districts and rural areas to work with LEPs to apply to become Enterprise Zones. The deadline for applications is 18th September 2015.".
  • Note: See pages 6, 12 and 17 within the above document.

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

  • [Page 18] "The government will ...
    Take further action to ensure that planning decisions are taken on time, by bringing minor development within the government’s approach to managing planning performance, tightening the Planning Guarantee for minor schemes, and strengthening the minimum performance threshold for the speed of deciding major applications.
    ".
  • Note: See page 18 within the above document.

Minor development:

  • [Page 18] "The government will ...
    - Introduce a fast-track planning certificate process for establishing the principle of development for minor development proposals, providing much-needed certainty for small businesses in rural areas.
    ".
  • Note: See pages 6 and 18 within the above document.

Agricultural-to-residential conversions (and other agricultural PD rights):

  • [Page 18] "The government will ...
    - Review the planning and regulatory constraints facing rural businesses and measures that can be taken to address them, including how improved permitted development rights in rural areas can support new homes, jobs and innovation. The government will publish a Call for Evidence in the autumn with decisions to be made by 2016."
    .
  • [Page 19] "... the government will ...
    - Review the current threshold for agricultural buildings to convert to residential buildings.".
  • Note: See pages 18 and 19 within the above document.

s106 agreements:

  • [Page 19] "... 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 19 within the above document.

Starter homes, local plans, and neighbourhood plans:

  • [Page 19] "... the government will ...
    - Ensure local authorities put local plans in place for housing according to agreed deadlines and require them to plan proactively for the delivery of Starter Homes. The government will also bring forward proposals to speed up the process of implementing or amending a plan.
    - Help our villages to thrive by making it easier for them to establish a neighbourhood plan and allocate land for new homes, including through the use of rural exception sites to deliver Starter Homes.".
  • Note: See pages 6 and 19 within the above document.