regular update from John Bridge OBE DL

The government yesterday published its 'Planning for the Future'  white paper and associated consultation to reform the planning system.

Key aspects of the consultation document on these reforms include:
• Government setting out plans to overhaul outdated planning system and reform the way the country builds
• Plans to streamline process, cut red tape and harness technology to deliver homes faster
• Valued green spaces protected for future generations, with more building on brownfield land
• Building beautiful homes with communities at heart of new planning system
• 30% discount through First Homes, with an emphasis on key workers.

The government states the reforms will mean:
• Local communities will be consulted from the very beginning of the planning process. By harnessing the latest technology through online maps and data, the whole system will be made more accessible
• Valued green spaces will be protected for future generations by allowing for more building on brownfield land and all new streets to be tree lined
• Much-needed homes will be built quicker by ensuring local housing plans are developed and agreed in 30 months – down from the current 7 years
• Every area to have a local plan in place – currently only 50% of local areas has a plan to build more homes
• The planning process to be overhauled and replaced with a clearer, rules based system. Currently around a third of planning cases that go to appeal are overturned at appeal
• A new simpler national levy to replace the current system of developer contributions which often causes delay
• The creation of a fast-track system for beautiful buildings and establishing local design guidance for developers to build and preserve beautiful communities
• An ambition that new ‘zero carbon ready’ homes delivered under our new system will not require any future retrofitting.
It is important that the views of business are conveyed to government and you can do this by either responding to the consultation document direct or letting me have your comments so I can include them with our response. The consultation lasts for 12 weeks from 6 August.

The full consultation document can be found here .

From my perspective I believe businesses will welcome efforts to accelerate the planning and development of new homes, business premises and local amenities which will be vital to rebuilding our economy.

However successive planning revolutions have been promised before, but usually turn out to be false dawns and businesses have continued to struggle with a complex planning regime which causes uncertainty and delay.

Essentially for any planning system to work properly, it needs to be well resourced, transparent, supported by individuals and communities, and based on sound and consistent decisions. Any changes to planning policy and practice must deliver greater certainty and speed of decision making to deliver the right development, in the right places, more quickly.

As well as delivering more new homes, the system must give access to affordable employment land and premises to support business innovation, expansion, and long-term competitiveness.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Contact the Chamber

01223 237414 •
Cambridgeshire Chamber of Commerce

Clifford House • 2 Station Yard • Oakington • CB24 3AH • United Kingdom