In June, Boris Johnson promised to ‘Build, Build, Build’ to help Britain bounce back from the pandemic, which included the promise of a £5bn package to build homes and infrastructure. Then, on Sunday (2 August), Robert Hendrick, UK Housing Secretary, announced sweeping planning reforms to give ‘automatic permission’ to new homes as well as hospitals and schools.

This was followed by the announcement on Thursday (6 August) for the Planning for the Future’ consultation on proposals for reform of the planning system in England was published.

Views are open to everyone

The Government intends to streamline and modernise the planning process, and bring a new focus to design and sustainability. It also aims to improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure. This will ensure more land is available for development where it is needed. The consultation document states that it seeks any views on each part of the proposals for reform of the planning system in England and it is open to everyone. The government wants to hear from both the public and the private sectors as well as the general public and it will last for 12 weeks from today.

Under the new process, land will be zoned into the following three categories:

  1. Growth – individual developments will not require planning permission
  2. Renewal – will have a ‘permission in principle’
  3. Protection – most developments will be banned.

It has also been stated that all new housing developments must have tree lined streets.

Pros and Cons

Local authorities will have to allocate land for development, and it won’t have to go through the same planning processes under the reform. This could well speed things up, but there is a worry that it will lead to poorly designed buildings. There are many questions left unanswered, which will make for an interesting consultation. Some view it as a positive step forward in creating more homes, while others have voiced concerns about huge developments being planned and local communities not having much say in the matter.

Our team will be following the updates closely and will hopefully be able to answer questions you may have. Please give Kevin Todd a call on 07973 227925 or email: