IHBC’s input shapes HCLG parliamentary critique of England’s planning pitch: Reforms ‘lack detail’, and need consultation ‘to prevent unintended consequences’!

The Housing, Communities and Local Government (HCLG) Parliamentary Committee report on England’s Planning White Paper extensively references the IHBC’s evidence, warning that the proposed reforms ‘lack detail’ and asking for consultation ‘to prevent unintended consequences and harms resulting from them’.

… government ‘should consult on the details of proposed reforms…

… the Planning Bill [should be] subject to pre-legislative scrutiny…

Pbctoday writes:

The HCLG committee’s report, ‘The future of the planning system in England’, recommends that the government ‘should consult on the details of proposed reforms to prevent unintended consequences and harms resulting from them’. It adds: ‘Given the complexity of the issues, and the possibility that its contents will differ from the proposals contained in the White Paper, the Planning Bill announced in the Queen’s Speech should be brought forward in a draft form, and be subject to pre-legislative scrutiny…’

The three areas proposal

The government has proposed that local areas will be divided (through Local Plans) into three parts: growth, renewal and protected, with different planning rules… The HCLG committee… said: ‘The lack of details about the three areas approach has made it difficult to assess how it would function. Our evidence has suggested there are problems with the three areas proposal. These have included its potential unsuitability in urban areas; doubts over whether Local Plans will have the level of detail for developers to know whether their proposals will qualify for permission in principle and avoid using planning permission procedures; the uncertainty over the purposes of renewal areas; and the level of protection to be afforded in protected areas. Overall, we are unpersuaded the government’s zoning-based approach will produce a quicker, cheaper, and democratic planning system. The government should reconsider the case for the three areas proposal. Any new proposals can be considered in detail if the Planning Bill is published in draft form and we undertake pre-legislative scrutiny, as we recommend.’

An MHCLG spokesperson said: ‘We have not yet published a response to the consultation so these conclusions are speculative. As the report rightly identifies, the planning system is in need of improvement and our reforms will mean a quicker, more efficient and less bureaucratic planning system so we can build more much needed homes across the country. Local people and high quality design will be at the heart of these changes, while protecting our heritage and green spaces.’…

‘A local, democratically-led planning system remains critical’

Councillor David Renard, Local Government Association planning spokesperson, said: ‘Councils want to work with Government on developing the detail of its Planning Bill and to go further and faster to tackle our housing crisis. With more than 1.1 million homes given planning permission over the past decade yet to be built and councils approving 9 in 10 planning applications, it is clear that the planning system is not a barrier to housebuilding and that it is the housing delivery system which is in need of reform. There are also more than a million more homes on land earmarked in local plans for development by councils that are yet to be brought forward by developers for planning permission. It is therefore good the committee backs our call for councils to be able to levy full council tax on incomplete properties, as an incentive to get developers building more quickly….’

Read more….

To read the report (including a summary of the main conclusions on p99) see Parliament UK

See the IHBC’s response to the White Paper HERE

See more background on IHBC consultations HERE

See more on the IHBC’s work with Parliament through the Conservation Places and People APPG (CPP APPG) on the White Paper HERE

For more background to the White Paper from the IHBC  see the NewsBlog

For more background from the IHBC on the CPP APPG see the NewsBlog

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