The government states its intention to make further changes to the planning system, including PD rights …

[UPDATE: For the subsequent legislation relating to this consultation, please view the following posts:
- This post and this post for the legislation relating to Part 1 of the GPDO.
- This post and this post for the legislation relating to Other Parts of the GPDO.]

[UPDATE: For the subsequent "Planning for the Future - White Paper", please view this post.]

[UPDATE: For the subsequent "Changes to the current planning system - Consultation on changes to planning policy and regulations", please view this post.]

The government has published the following policy paper, which sets out the government's intention to make further changes to the planning system, including permitted development rights:

  • March 2020: Planning for the Future - Policy Paper (pdf) (link).

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

  • Note: The key quotes below cover those parts of the above document that relate to the planning system.
  • Note: Any proposals that will (or might) affect PD rights are shown below in red.
  • Note: For each key quote below, the paragraph number (within the above document) is shown in square brackets.
  • Note: The government's press release for the above document is available here.

Planning White Paper:

  • [13]: "In the Spring, we will publish a bold and ambitious Planning White Paper. It will propose measures to accelerate planning. It will maximise the potential of new technologies to modernise the system. It will make it easier for communities to understand the planning system and play a role in decisions that affect them. Together, the measures it puts forward will set out a pathway to a new English planning system which is fit for the future. The White Paper will reflect international best practice, create more space for innovation and new approaches and ensure that planning reflects our aspirations to level up across the country. We want a planning system that supports beautiful design; and, meets the challenges of climate change as well as building the homes this country needs.".

Brownfield land and Local Housing Need:

  • [10]: "Investing £400m to use brownfield land productively – the Government will work with ambitious mayors and local leaders to regenerate local brownfield land and deliver the homes their communities need on land which is already developed."
  • [10]: "Launching a national brownfield map and a call for proposals for building above stations – the government will launch a national brownfield sites map in April 2020 and will conduct a call for proposals to seek evidence on the barriers to, and opportunities in, building above stations in urban areas. It is vital that we make the most of existing transport hubs, encouraging modern, green communities where people live close to public transport."
  • [10]: Reviewing the formula for calculating Local Housing Need – we will introduce a new approach which encourages greater building within and near to urban areas and makes sure the country is planning for the delivery of 300,000 new homes a year.".

Permitted development rights:

  • [10]: "Introducing new rules to encourage building upwards, increasing density in line with local character and make the most of local infrastructure – we will introduce new permitted development rights for building upwards on existing buildings by summer 2020, including to extend residential blocks by up to two storeys and to deliver new and bigger homes. We will also consult on the detail of a new permitted development right to allow vacant commercial buildings, industrial buildings and residential blocks to be demolished and replaced with well-designed new residential units which meet natural light standards.".

Community and self-build housing:

  • [10]: "Supporting community and self-build housing – we will support those who want to build their own homes to find plots of land and provide help to parish councils and neighbourhood forums who wish to build a small number of homes to allow their communities to grow organically, providing homes for the next generation and those wishing to downsize.".

Local plans:

  • [11]: "Setting a deadline for all local authorities to have an up-to-date local plan – the government will require all local planning authorities to have up-to-date local plans by December 2023. The government will prepare to intervene where local authorities fail to meet the deadline in accordance with the existing statutory powers, considering appropriate action on a case by case basis.".

Housing Delivery Test and New Homes Bonus:

  • [11]: "Continuing to drive supply through the Housing Delivery Test – we will continue with plans to raise the Housing Delivery test threshold to 75% in November 2020, incentivising local authorities to deliver on their local plans.".
  • [11]: "Reforming the New Homes Bonus (NHB) to reward delivery – those authorities who strive to build more homes where they are most needed should be rewarded. The government will consult on reforming the NHB in Spring to incentivise greater delivery and ensure that where authorities are building more homes, they have access to greater funding to provide services for those who move into them.".

Planning fees:

  • [13]: "Reform planning fees to create a world-class planning service – we will introduce a new planning fee structure to ensure that planning authorities are properly resourced to improve the speed and quality of their decisions. This will be linked to a new performance framework to ensure performance improvements across the planning service for all users.".
  • [13]: "Automatic rebates where planning applications are successful at appeal – to promote proper consideration of applications by planning committees, where applications are refused applicants will be entitled to an automatic rebate of their planning application fee if they are successful at appeal.".

Zoning and Local Development Orders (LDOs):

  • [13]: "Expand the use of zoning tools to support development – the government will outline further support for local areas to simplify the process of granting planning permission for residential and commercial development through zoning tools, such as Local Development Orders. The government will trial the use of templates for drafting LDOs and other zonal tools to create simpler models and financial incentives to support more effective use. The government has also launched a consultation on a new UK Freeport model, including on how zoning could be better used to support accompanying development.".

Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs):

  • [13]: "Improve the effectiveness, take-up and role of Compulsory Purchase Orders to help facilitate land assembly and infrastructure delivery – MHCLG will introduce further support and expertise to LAs to give greater confidence in using CPO powers and will consult on legislative reforms to speed up the decision-making process. The government intends to consult on: introducing statutory timescales for decisions; ending the automatic right to public inquiry; encouraging early agreements on compensations; and exploring the scope to remit more decisions back to LAs; as well as wider reform.".

First Homes scheme and affordable housing:

  • [14]: "Cut the cost of new homes through the new First Homes scheme – the biggest barrier to ownership is saving for a deposit, and we are consulting on a new First Homes scheme that will address this. The scheme will cut the cost of many new homes by a third, creating a new generation of homeowners. This will lower the cost of buying a home by an average of £70,000 for eligible first time buyers, improving the prospects for people who find the market unaffordable. The discount will be locked into the property in perpetuity – meaning that future generations will continue to benefit from the discount offered. All homeowners remember getting the keys to their first home, and this Government wants people to realise this moment as quickly as possible. Over the coming weeks and months, we will be looking to partner with developers and local authorities to be the front runners in delivering the first wave of first homes.".
  • [17]: "Renewing our commitment to affordable housing – in the Budget we announced a £12 billion investment in Affordable Homes – the biggest cash investment in affordable housing for a decade. This is expected to bring in around a further £38 billion public and private investment. This new 5-year investment will deliver more affordable housing, help more people to own their own home, and build more social rent homes, helping those most at risk of homelessness in areas of the country where affordability is most acute.".

Design standards:

  • [15]: "Revise the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to embed the principles of good design and placemaking – this will make clear that high-quality buildings and places must be considered throughout the planning process. The framework will expand on the fundamental principles of good design to define what is expected of local authorities and developers to support the creation of beautiful places.".
  • [15]: "Respond to the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission’s report – we will look to take forward many of the Commission’s recommendations, which include calling for urban tree planting and giving communities a greater opportunity to influence design standards in their area. This will put tree lined streets at the centre of future plans, so that they become the norm not the exception.".
  • [15]: "Give local authorities the ability to ensure that new homes conform to local residents’ ideas of beauty through the planning system – using the National Model Design Code we will set out clear parameters for promoting the design and style of homes and neighbourhoods local people want to see. We will ask local places to produce their own design guides and codes, informed by listening to local people and considering local context. This will embed standards in planning policy and give local communities the confidence to demand that they are met.".


  • [10]: "Backing the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, including a new spatial framework and up to 4 new development corporations ...".
  • [12]: "Investing another £1.1 billion in local infrastructure to unlock almost 70,000 new homes ...".
  • [12]: "A new £10 billion Single Housing Infrastructure Fund ...".
  • [13]: "Ensure land for housing is built out ...".
  • [14]: "Explore encouraging a market for long-term fixed rate mortgages ...".
  • [14]: "Make the route to ownership simpler and more affordable through a new national Shared Ownership model ...".
  • [16]: "Review our policy for building in areas at flood risk ...".
  • [16]: "Introduce a Future Homes Standard (FHS) ...".
  • [16]: "Establish a Net Zero development in Toton in the East Midlands ...".
  • [17]: "Publishing the Social Housing White Paper ...".
  • [17]: "Making a further £1 billion available to support remediation for building safety ...".
  • [17]: "Protecting new homeowners through the New Homes Ombudsman ...".
  • [17]: "Ensuring renters are treated fairly through the Renters’ Reform Bill ...".
  • [17]: "Commencing a review and pledging over £640 million to end rough sleeping ...".
  • [18]: "Over the spring and summer, the government will work with local authorities, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise (SME) housebuilders, local groups, the construction industry and others to shape a long-term programme of reform for the country’s planning system and housing market ...".

Other Sources of Information:

  • February 2020: Freeports Consultation - Boosting Trade, Jobs and Investment Across the UK (pdf) (link).
    - Note: For more information about the above document, please view this post.
  • February 2020: Consultation on the design and delivery of First Homes (pdf) (link).
    - Note: For more information about the above document, please view this post.