Planning—Lexis®PSL comments on key developments in 2018 and 2019

Planning—Lexis®PSL comments on key developments in 2018 and 2019

In this year’s end of year comment, our Lexis®PSL Planning team consider what their standout legal development was for Planning in 2018. Our Lexis®PSL Planning team also preview the anticipated talking points for Planning in 2019.

First published on Lexis®PSL on 12 December 2018.

What was the standout legal development in your area this year?

Our standout development was the much-awaited publication of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the related revisions to the Planning Practice Guidance (PPG). The revisions mark a fairly significant top-down change in national planning policy in England across a number of areas. The biggest changes are in terms of how housing is to be planned for and delivered. LPAs are to calculate their housing need on the basis of a new standardised methodology and a housing delivery test will measure the number of homes delivered against housing need and trigger policy penalties where there is persistent under-delivery. The measures were touted as a new approach to build more homes more quickly and in the places where people want to live, but whether the policy changes will help the government ‘fix the broken housing market’ remains to be seen. Since publication, the government has had to backtrack on the new standard method for the calculation of local housing need by instructing local planning authorities (LPAs) to ignore recent household projections in assessing local housing need, on the basis that it would have resulted in a significantly lower housing need being calculated than the government expected. The government has also failed to publish the results of the housing delivery test, which it committed to publishing in November 2018, and which was one of the key planks of its commitment to ensure more homes are delivered.

The revisions also put greater focus on good design, backed by a requirement on LPAs not to permit the design of

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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.