Planning Reform

24th May 2021 / Posted by Susannah Wilks

“The biggest shake–up to planning rules in a generation” stated Russell Gardner, Ernst and Young’s UK & Ireland Head of Real Estate, on the Planning Bill
announced in the Queen’s Speech on 11th May. As reported by Jonathan Knott in the Municipal Journal, Jonathan Carr-West, chief executive of the Local Government Information Unit also questioned the planning proposals, saying:

“Everyone agrees that we need to build many, many more houses in this country. It’s less clear that planning is what is preventing us from doing so.” 

Dr Carr-West asked: “Are major planning changes on permitted development totally compatible with rejuvenating town centres?” . He said that while the measures may reduce “the impact of nimbyism” they could also “draw concern over the loss of local democratic process”, warning that “a careful balance will need to be struck”.

London Councils issued a statement from their executive member for housing and planning Darren Rodwell, calling the planning overhaul “a complete disaster in the making”“We’re desperate for more affordable housing in the capital – but these reforms risk making the situation worse,” he said.

The planning white paper last year proposed creating three different zones with different purposes and degrees of development; “growth”, “renewal” or “protection”. However, The Times on 11th May reported that zones will be marked for growth or protection, with ministers “undecided on adding a third category for regeneration”.

London Councils says that moving to a zonal system would mean “fewer opportunities for local accountability and oversight”, making it “harder for councils to make sure the right sort of homes are built to the right standard in the right places”.

For further information please contact CRP’s Director Susannah Wilks.