IMPORTANT: The government publishes a consultation (until 29/10/2020) on significant changes to the planning system …

[UPDATE: For the subsequent government response to this consultation, please view this post.]

The government has published the following White Paper, which includes a consultation that runs for 12 weeks from 06/08/2020 until 29/10/2020:

  • August 2020: Planning for the Future - White Paper (pdf version with photos) (pdf version without photos) (link).


  • The MHCLG guidance (link) relating to the above White Paper includes the following information:
    - "In the new [planning] system local areas will develop plans for land to be designated into three categories:
    >>> Growth areas will back development, with development approved at the same time plans are prepared, meaning new homes, schools, shops and business space can be built quickly and efficiently, as long as local design standards are met.
    >>> Renewal areas will be suitable for some development – where it is high-quality in a way which meets design and other prior approval requirements the process will be quicker. If not, development will need planning approval in the usual way.
    >>> Protected areas will be just that – development will be restricted to carry on protecting our treasured heritage like Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and National Parks."
    - "The reforms will mean:
    >>> Much-needed homes will be built quicker by ensuring local housing plans are developed and agreed in 30 months – down from the current 7 years it often takes.
    >>> Every area to have a local plan in place – currently only 50% of local areas has an up-to-date plan to build more homes.
    >>> The planning system will be made more accessible, by harnessing the latest technology through online maps and data.
    >>> Valued green spaces will be protected for future generations by allowing for more building on brownfield land and all new streets to be tree lined.
    >>> The planning process to be overhauled and replaced with a clearer, rules based system. Currently around a third of planning cases that go to appeal are overturned.
    >>> A new simpler national levy to replace the current system of developer contributions which often causes delay – this will provide more certainty about the number of affordable homes being built.
    >>> The creation of a fast-track system for beautiful buildings and establishing local design guidance for developers to build and preserve beautiful communities.
    >>> All new homes to be ‘zero carbon ready’, with no new homes delivered under the new system needed to be retrofitted as we achieve our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.".
  • Note: The consultation within the above "Planning for the Future - White Paper" document covers longer-term measures, whereas shorter-term measures are covered by the consultation within the "Changes to the current planning system - Consultation on changes to planning policy and regulations" document (note: for more information about the latter consultation, please view this post).

Other sources of information:

  • March 2020: Planning for the Future - Policy Paper (pdf) (link).
    - Note: For more information about the above document, please view this post.
  • August 2020: MHCLG Guidance - Planning for the future explained (link).
  • August 2020: Government press release - "Launch of Planning for the future consultation to reform the planning system" (link).