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