Planning for the future: the new Housing and Planning Act 2016

Planning for the future: the new Housing and Planning Act 2016

Following a lengthy period of debate, the Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016) has received Royal Assent and was recently published. Roy Pinnock, partner at Dentons, considers the main planning aspects of the new legislation and the implications for local authorities.

What are the key planning provisions in HPA 2016?

HPA 2016, Pt 1 introduces a duty to promote starter homes (Section 1), which are new homes to be sold to first time buyers aged 23–39 at no more than 80% of market value (capped at £450,000 in Greater London and £250,000 elsewhere). HPA 2016, s 4 imposes a general duty on local authorities to promote the supply of starter homes when carrying out planning functions (such as preparing local plans, discharging the duty to cooperate and determining planning applications).

The Secretary of State may make regulations restraining the grant planning permission for specified residential developments if set requirements relating to starter homes are met (HPA 2016, s 5). This may include a requirement for section 106 obligations to secure a set amount of starter homes or a payment in lieu. He may also issue compliance directions sterilising specific local planning policies where they are getting in the way of delivery (HPA 2016, s 7).

Similar duties and powers apply to the grant of planning permission and permission in principle (PIP) for self-build/custom build homes (HPA 2016, s 10).

HPA 2016, Pt 6 enables other initiatives intended to promote housing delivery, many of which require secondary legislation to join the dots:

  • speeding up neighbourhood area designation and neighbourhood plan adoption (HPA 2016, ss 139–142)
  • ‘local planning’ powers for the Secretary of State to intervene to suspend, prepare and otherwise control the plan-making and examination process (HPA 2016, ss 143–148)
  • mayoral intervention (HPA 2016,s 149)—allowing regulations to be made to widen the scope of mayoral call in and consultation powers
  • PIP for ‘housing led’ development in England (HPA 2016, s 150)—PIP may be granted by a local development order on sites listed in the brownfield register and allocated in local and neighbourhood plans (or by application, in relation to small sites) and will establish the principle for development, with an application for ‘technical details consent’ needed
  • brownfield register (HPA 2016, s 151)—local authorities in England will be required by regulations to compile and maintain a register of brownfield land
  • dispute resolution service (HPA 2016,

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