Government proposes a ‘whole new planning system for England’ in White Paper published for consultation, alongside interim reforms

Government proposes a ‘whole new planning system for England’ in White Paper published for consultation, alongside interim reforms

On 6 August 2020, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government published its long-awaited ‘Planning for the Future’ White Paper, setting out far-reaching proposals for reform to the English planning system. Alongside it, it published a second consultation on interim changes to the planning system, pending the outcome of the White Paper reforms.

The White Paper proposes reforms that touch on almost all aspects of the planning regime, which, among other things, propose:

  • reforming the role of local plans, so that they focus on identifying land under just three categories: growth areas suitable for substantial development (where outline approval for development would be automatically secured for forms and types of development specified in the plan), renewal areas suitable for some development, such as gentle densification, and protected areas where development is restricted. Plans will also be visual and map-based, standardised and based on the latest digital technology
  • setting general development management policies nationally, so that local plans will simply identify site and area-specific requirements, accompanied by locally-produced design codes
  • changing the development management process, so that outline planning permission is automatically granted for development in areas identified as growth areas in the new local plans. Further details will have to be agreed and full permission achieved through streamlined and faster consent routes which focus on securing good design and addressing site-specif

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About the author:
Sarah worked in planning departments at several city firms, including SJ Berwin, Wragge Lawrence Graham and Norton Rose Fulbright, before joining LexisNexis UK in January 2017. She has experience of planning and compulsory purchase law and regularly advised landowners, investors and developers on all planning law aspects, with a particular focus on large-scale development, regeneration and infrastructure schemes. Sarah also has considerable experience conducting planning-related legal proceedings.