LEG-UP – February 2017
An Update from the Planning Legislation Update Service
The following is a summary of highlights from February which have come to the attention of the Planning Legislation Update Service.
FIXING OUR BROKEN HOUSING MARKET, WHITE PAPER, February 2017.
Planning objectives: –
- Making sure every part of the country has an up-to-date plan;
- Simplifying plan-making and making it more transparent;
- Ensuring that plans start from an ‘honest’ assessment of the need for new homes, and that local authorities work with their neighbours;
- Clarifying what land is available for new housing;
- Maximising the contribution from brownfield and surplus public land, regenerating estates, releasing more small and medium-sized sites, allowing rural communities to grow and making it easier to build new settlements;
- Maintaining existing strong protections for the Green Belt, and clarifying that Green Belt boundaries should be amended only in exceptional circumstances when local authorities can demonstrate that they have fully examined all other reasonable options for meeting their identified housing requirements;
- Giving communities a stronger voice in the design of new housing;
- Encouraging higher densities, where appropriate and reviewing space standards.
- Reducing the scope for local and neighbourhood plans to be undermined by changing the way that land supply for housing is assessed; … ‘to qualify for protections set out in December’s written ministerial statement on neighbourhood plans, neighbourhoods “should be able to demonstrate that their site allocations and housing supply policies will meet their share of local housing need”
- Boosting local authority capacity and capability to deliver, improving the speed and quality with which planning cases are handled, while deterring unnecessary appeals;
…. ‘local authorities will be able to increase fees by 20 per cent from July 2017 if they “commit to invest the additional fee income in their planning department”.
- Ensuring infrastructure is provided in the right place at the right time;
- Securing timely connections to utilities;
- Tackling unnecessary delays caused by planning conditions, facilitating the strategic licensing of protected species and exploring a new approach to how developers contribute to infrastructure; the government “will examine the options for reforming the system of developer contributions including ensuring direct benefit for communities” and will respond to the CIL review and “make an announcement at Autumn Budget 2017
- Holding local authorities to account through a new housing delivery test. “From November 2017, if delivery of housing falls below 85 per cent of the housing requirement, authorities would in addition be expected to plan for a 20 per cent buffer on their five-year land supply, if they have not already done so,”
- Supporting custom-build homes with greater access to land and finance;
- Encouraging modern methods of construction in house building.
- Continuing to crack down on empty homes, and supporting areas most affected by second homes;
- Encouraging the development of housing that meets the needs of our future population; (The document confirms that the government will not introduce a statutory requirement for Starter Homes “at the present time”.)
The White Paper expands on the above and invites comments – see next
CONSULTATION ON FIXING OUR BROKEN HOUSING MARKET, WHITE PAPER, February 2017.
This document set out some wider changes to national planning policy in relation to sustainable development and the environment.
The consultation closed on 2nd May 2017.
PLANNING AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR BUILD TO RENT, DCLG, 7th February 2017.
This consultation (in association with the Housing White Paper sought views on planning measures to support an increase in Build to Rent schemes across England. This includes changing the National Planning Policy Framework policy to support and to increase the number of new Build to Rent homes, and the provision of Affordable Private Rent homes as the main form of affordable housing provision on Build to Rent schemes.
This consultation closed on 1st May 2017.
THE HIGH SPEED RAIL (LONDON-WESTMIDLANDS) HYBRID ACT 2017
Received Royal Assent on 23rd February 2017 – it is essentially the planning application for the new line – construction will begin in the spring and is proposed to be completed in 2026. The route includes a small part of Three Rivers DC in Hertfordshire.
The government has previously introduced a comprehensive package of compensation and assistance for those directly affected by HS2.
Also, launched, were schemes totalling £70 million for communities along the route.
HIGH SPEED RAIL (LONDON TO WEST MIDLANDS) ACT 2017: SCHEDULE 17 STATUTORY GUIDANCE, DfT and HS2, 23rd February 2017.
Schedule 17 allows the Secretary of State for Transport to issue statutory guidance to planning authorities about the exercise of their functions in relation to the proposal. Planning authorities are required to have regard to this guidance when considering a request for approval made under Schedule 17. (see later)
HEATHROW EXPANSION: DRAFT AIRPORTS NATIONAL POLICY STATEMENT (NPS): NEW RUNWAY CAPACITY AND INFRASTRUCTURE AT AIPORTS IN THE SOUTH-EAST OF ENGLAND, DfT, 2nd February 2017.
The government says “need for additional capacity in the south-east of England is best met by a new north-west runway at Heathrow Airport.”
The planning policy framework which the applicant would have to comply with in order to get development consent is set out in this document. See also next.
This consultation closed on 25th May 2017.
APPRAISAL OF SUSTAINABILITY FOR THE DRAFT AIRPORTS NATIONAL POLICY STATEMENT, DfT, 3rd February 2017.
An Appraisal of the potential social, economic and environmental impacts of the proposed policy in the above draft NPS and sets out options for mitigating potential impacts.
DRAFT UK AIRSPACE POLICY: A FRAMEWORK FOR BALANCED DECISIONS ON THE DESIGN AND USE OF AIR SPACE AND AIR NAVIGATION GUIDANCE ON AIRSPACE and
DRAFT NOISE MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL OBJECTIVES, DfT,
2nd February 2017.
DfT is consulting on proposals to support the reform of airspace, thereby maximising the economic and social benefits of aviation and minimising negative local impacts.
This consultation closed on 25 May 2017.
CONSULTATION ON TRANSPOSITION OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT DIRECTIVE: REGULATIONS ON ELECTRICITY WORKS, BEIS, 16th February 2017.
This invites comments on proposals for implementing amendments to the European Union Directive on EIA for the Electricity Works Regulations.
This consultation closed on 16th March 2017.
CONSULTATION ON TRANSPOSITION OF ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT DIRECTIVE: REGULATIONS ON OFFSHORE HYDROCARBON-RELATED DEVELOPMENTS AND ON PIPE-LINES, BEIS, 16th February 2017.
This invites comments on proposals for implementing amendments to the European Union Directive on EIA for the Offshore Production and Pipe-lines Regulations.
This consultation closed on 16th March 2017.