“Planning for the Future” consultation spells good news for new build

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has issued the “Planning for the Future” consultation, a white paper document designed to build trust, give developers more certainty and ultimately speed up the building process in England.

The Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government, The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick, claimed that his proposal will:

  1. streamline the planning process with more democracy taking place more effectively at the planning stage
  2. take a radical, digital-first approach to modernise the planning process.
  3. bring a new focus on design and sustainability
  4. improve infrastructure delivery in all parts of the country and ensure developers play their part, through reform of developer contributions.
  5. ensure more land is available for the homes and development, that people and communities need, and to support renewal of town and city centres,

It is the third and fourth points that may have the biggest impact on Elmhurst members where it is proposed;

  • to abolish the sustainability appraisal system and develop a simplified process for assessing the environmental impact of plans
  • that we will have “a new nationally-determined, binding housing requirement that local planning authorities would have to deliver through their Local Plans. This would be focused on areas where affordability pressure is highest to stop land supply being a barrier to enough homes being built. We propose that this would factor in land constraints, including the Green Belt, and would be consistent with our aspirations of creating a housing market that is capable of delivering 300,000 homes annually, and one million homes over this Parliament.

Elmhurst’s Managing Director, Martyn Reed, provides his views on the consultation: “We welcome the commitment to build more homes. At a time when housebuilding in 2019 was at a record high of 214,000, it was reported by Elmhurst in the latest edition of Energy Matters that new build starts in 2019 actually fell to 151,820, from a decade high of 167,820 in 2018. Short term stimulus, such as the reduction of stamp duty, will undoubtedly bring forward sales, and improve the statistics, but without the ability to refill the pipeline we will have a shortage of new homes within the next couple of years. If there is to be a new framework for assisting environmental plans then this should use the skills and resources of existing Energy Assessors. That way we can create an efficient, cost effective and quality assured service, which planners and government can rely on".

This consultation will close at 23.45 Thursday 29th October 2020.

To read and respond to the Planning for the Future consultation click here 

Published: 10/08/20

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