Government announces proposals to accelerate planning system

Government announces proposals to accelerate planning system

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has proposed new measures to speed up the planning system in order to provide new homes more quickly .

Housing Minister Brandon Lewis has proposed new measures to speed up the planning system as to provide new homes more quickly.

So-called “section 106” agreements, which attach conditions on a planning permission being granted, can often lead to extended negotiations that delay the planning application process.

The Housing and Planning Minister is seeking views on plans to speed up the process, getting planning permission agreed and workers on site more quickly.

Brandon Lewis said: “Section 106 planning agreements can bring great benefits to local communities but too often they drag out planning applications for months.”

“That’s why today I’m proposing measures that will speed up the process, get planning permissions granted quicker and workers on site earlier, all the while keeping the community benefits that these agreements can bring.”

Section 106 agreements put requirements on planning applicants to make the proposals suitable for the area. These include mitigating a scheme’s impact such as through requiring improved transport to service it, providing an affordable housing element or requiring contributions from the applicant to be spent on other local schemes.

But they can add months to the planning process – stalling work on the homes communities want.

The proposals include:

•    Clear time limits so section 106 negotiations are completed in line with the existing 8 to 13 week target for planning applications.
•    Requiring parties to start discussions at the beginning of the planning application process, rather than the current system where negotiations can often start towards the end.
•    A dispute resolution process where negotiations stall proceedings and thereby prevent development.
•    Using standardised documents to avoid agreements being drafted from scratch for each and every application.
•    Potential legislation in the next Parliament to give new measures teeth
Other planning measure implemented by the Government include:
•    Cutting more than 1,000 pages of planning guidance to around 50 through the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework.
•    Simplifying the process of converting existing commercial and retail buildings to residential purposed buildings.
•    Removing the requirement for affordable housing and other contributions from small developers, saving up to £140,000 per home.


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