Government’s White Paper: Planning for the Future published today

On first read the new White Paper details a very positive move towards creating a new planning system for England that is fit for the 21st Century. These changes are necessary if the UK Government is serious about delivering its target of 300,000 new homes per annum.

The White Paper details a deliberate shift away from our traditional discretionary development system to a simpler and more understandable zonal and coded planning approval system.  This White Paper is all about the secure delivery of new growth by removing the complexities and subjectivity that is deliberately built into the existing system and by better informing communities to depoliticise local decision making. 

The Government is clearly attempting to open-up, de-risk and de-frighten the UK’s development industry to remove an over-reliance on a few volume house builders, planning lawyers and speculative gamblers to deliver much needed new homes and jobs across the UK.  It is clear that the overall aim is to make England’s development industry much easier to navigate and more attractive to risk adverse new entrants with different business models and methods of construction.  If the Government pulls this off expect the likes of Dyson, Bosch and Siemens to be building England’s new homes in the future.   

We do not believe that the planning reforms proposed in the White Paper will reduce quality in the new homes, work spaces and communities of the future.  It is our view that this has already happened and the reason why the system is now in need of urgent reform.  The current system does not incentivise strong investment in design quality as there is too much planning and political risk.  We are looking forward to seeing the UK Government’s final proposals for a better new planning system.  

 

 

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