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Government launch overhaul of Planning Policy 14/03/2018 Labelled as Development, Legislation

The Government have announced a major overhaul of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) including reforms to developer contributions to affordable housing & infrastructure.


The planning reforms were announced by the Prime Minister on 5 March 2018 and the Government claim the reforms will provide a comprehensive approach for planners, developers and councils to build more homes, more quickly, in the places people want to live. Councils and developers will be required to work with community groups to ensure those affected by new developments will have a say on how they look and feel.


The Government say that the reforms focus on the following areas:


Greater responsibility: Local authorities will have a new housing delivery test focused on driving up the numbers of homes actually delivered in their area, rather than numbers planned for. Developers will also be held to account for delivering the commitments, including affordable housing and the infrastructure needed to support communities.


Maximising the use of land: More freedom will be given to local authorities to make the most of existing brownfield land to build homes that maximise density. Redundant land will be encouraged such as under utilised retail or industrial space for homes, with more flexibilities given to extend upwards on existing blocks of flats and houses as well as shops and offices. The Government say this will mean more homes can be built while maintaining strong protection for the Green Belt.


Maintaining strong protections for the environment: Ensuring developments result in a net gain to the environment where possible and increases the protection given to ancient woodland so they are not lost for future generations.


Ensuring the right homes are built: Delivering more affordable homes, including sites dedicated for first time buyers, build to rent homes with family friendly tenancies, guaranteed affordable homes for key workers and adapted homes for older people.


Higher quality and design: Introducing new quality standards so well designed new homes are built in places people are proud to live in and live next door to.


More transparent planning process: Local authorities will be encouraged to work together and continue to close the gap between planning permissions granted and homes built. A new standardised approach to assessing housing need will be introduced with new measures to make the system of developer contributions clearer, simpler and more robust, so developers understand what's expected of them and will be in no doubt that councils will hold them to their commitments.


The proposed reforms are set out in two consultations which will run until 10 May 2018 to seek views on reforming developer contributions to affordable housing and infrastructure and the text of the National Planning Policy Framework.


ARCH Policy Adviser, Matthew Warburton, has produced an ARCH Briefing Paper on the proposed reforms for ARCH members.

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