Bill proposes to abolish Planning Inspectorate and cut permitted development rights

Bill proposes to abolish Planning Inspectorate and cut permitted development rights

The National Planning Policy Framework (Community Involvement) Bill aims to give local communities more of a say in planning decisions and to amend the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) to redress the balance between the rights of developers and those of local communities. The abolition of permitted development rights for using community assets may be good news for local communities, but might contradict the government’s aims of freeing up and speeding up the planning system.

Original news

National Planning Policy Framework (Community Involvement) Bill

The National Planning Policy Framework (Community Involvement) Bill (the Bill) was introduced by MP Greg Mulholland and received its first reading in the House of Commons on 30 April 2014.

What does the Bill aim to achieve?

The Bill aims to:

  1. build on the approach taken by the Localism Act 2011 to give local communities more of a say in planning decisions, and
  2. amend the NPPF, which according to the government ‘has not got the balance right between the rights of developers and the rights of local communities and is not being properly implemented—or, it seems, even understood—by some local authorities which undermines this further’

What are the main provisions of the Bill and the reason for their introduction?

Abolition of the Planning Inspectorate and right of appeal

The Bill proposes to abolish the Planning Inspectorate (PINS). PINS is currently responsible for national infrastructure planning, processing planning and enforcement appeals, and holding examinations into local plans and community infrastructure levy charging schedules. It also deals with a wide variety of other planning-related casework, including listed building consent appeals, advertisement appeals, and reporting on called-in planning applications.

Specifically, the Bill proposes to abolish the right for developers to override local planning authority (LPA) decisions by appealing to PINS. At the moment, PINS has the power to overturn local decisions even though it may have little knowledge of the local area.

Currently communities and LPAs have no right to appeal. The Bill proposes to redress the ‘great imbalance’ in terms of the powers available to developers and the p

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About the author:

Jen is a solicitor specialising in planning law. She has experience in relation to a range of planning topics, including environmental impact assessment, section 106 agreements, highways orders, compulsory purchase, freedom of information issues, inquiries, judicial review, the Localism Act 2011, the National Planning Policy Framework and major infrastructure projects. After qualifying at Ashurst, Jen worked at Bevan Brittan and subsequently at CMS Cameron McKenna as an associate in the planning team. She worked as an external author for LexisPSL before joining the team in November 2010. She has written for a variety of legal publications, including the New Law Journal, Utilities Week, Planning Resource and The Lawyer. Jen regularly appears on Talking Law videocasts providing legal updates on planning law.