What Are The New 2020 Planning Rules?

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What Are The New 2020 Planning Rules?

What Are The New 2020 Planning Rules?

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has said that a proposed set of new changes to the current planning system in England will make it easier to build new houses. The changes are set to be made to the system to speed up the planning process, which he says is currently “outdated and cumbersome”.

The changes were announced after Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged £5 billion to build new homes and infrastructure, as a way of helping the economy recover from the impact of the coronavirus crisis.

Mr Jenrick said that as part of the new planning changes in England, new homes and hospitals would be granted ‘automatic’ permission to be built. He also said that local people will not be able to block developments which are in designated ‘growth’ zones.

He explained that locals would still get to have a say at the beginning of the planning process when local plans are drawn up, but after that stage, they would be unable to block new schemes.

The government has stated that it wants to reduce the number of planning applications that get overturned during appeal, and it will create a ‘cleaner, rules-based system’. It typically takes five years for a standard housing development to make it through the current system.

The Housing Secretary says this has significantly contributed to England’s housing crisis and the low homeownership among young people.

He wants to change how developers contribute to both the cost of building affordable housing and new infrastructure in each project.

The government will now introduce a national charge for developers, replacing the existing Section 106 agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy, which will also fund projects such as schools, roads and GP surgeries, as well as a fixed proportion of affordable homes in a housing development.

Mr Jenrick told BBC Breakfast, “We think our new system will still be democratic, it will still have local engagement, but it will be much faster and help us to meet the needs of the next generation.”

Where will these changes take effect?

The changes are expected to only affect planning policy in England, as devolved governments in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales administer their own housing and planning policies.

However, not everyone has agreed with the new system. Critics of the planned changes include housing charity Shelter, which warns that reforms would lead to ‘bad-quality’ housing.

Polly Neate, the charity’s chief executive, said that instead of enabling England to get building faster, the proposed changes could inevitably slow down progress.

“Housebuilders risk facing uncertainty as they scramble to understand the new system and what it means for their plans – just as the construction industry is facing a huge economic downturn. In fact, it could even inadvertently put the frighteners on developers building new homes,” she said.

Ms Neate added that it is not planning permission which is stopping England from ‘getting high-quality, genuinely affordable homes,’ but a lack of Government investment.”

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