Whatever type of Property Guru you are, the Planning Process is bound to have an impact on you in one way or another. You can't avoid the politics behind the scenes. So with my usual desire to 'research, disect and summarise' I share with you my take on the Conservatives Planning Green Paper.
The main thrust of the document is ‘local participation and social engagement’, giving local people and neighbourhoods control over what kind of development and land use they want in their area by consulting every resident in the neighbourhood in the evolution of their Local Plan.
Regional Spatial Strategies and National and Regional Building Targets will be abolished in favour of a National Planning Framework supported by short and focussed planning guidelines replacing the existing Planning Policy Guidance documents (PPG’s) and Planning Policy Statements (PPS’s). Within which Local Authorities can create their own distinctive policies to create sustainable communities.
Local Authorities have already submitted to Government their projected housing requirements which are known as ‘Option 1’ numbers. As Regional Building Targets are abolished, ‘Option 1’ numbers will be used as a base-line for the start of the collaborative planning process and a 5 year land supply is generally accepted as adequate.
Financial incentives for Local Authorities to permit development of new homes, businesses, schools, wind farms and affordable housing. A local tariff to be introduced for all permissions starting with just a single dwelling, with exemptions for Developers building affordable homes and Self Builders.
Use Classes Order to be amended to permit land and buildings to be used for any purpose as defined in the Local Plan. Buildings to be used for educational purposes (Class D1) to come under Permitted Development and existing class D1 buildings to remain as D1 unless Secretary of State for Schools agrees otherwise..
Classification of gardens as brownfield land to be reversed allowing councils to prevent overdevelopment and stop ‘garden grabbing’. Conversely, brownfield land is to include land previously occupied by Agricultural Buildings (built before a specified date) to facilitate use of disused buildings for other purposes.
Legislation will ensure a ‘duty to collaborate’ between Authorities and upper tier bodies on infrastructure planning. A National Major Infrastructure Unit to be established.
Travellers face new criminal offence ‘intentional trespass’ if local authorities have provided an authorised site in their area, councils to be funded and Travellers to contribute financially to service provision.
Human Rights Act to be replaced with British Bill of Rights
Mining & Minerals – minerals should be used as close as possible to where they are worked – “the proximity principle”
Conservation credits to build up banks for provision of biodiversity schemes
Simplification and expansion of Permitted Development Rights particularly with regard to shops, offices & public buildings
National Planning Framework to prevent development of the most fertile farmland in all but exceptional circumstances.
The Freeing up of Planning Resources with this streamlined system will permit more enforcement capabilities and Planners to return to what they were originally intended to do – designing and implementing visionary plans for their local areas.
So what do you guys think? Will you be voting Conservative?
Read the Conservatives' Planning Green Paper in Full