The UK government has released a document that proposes reforms in the planning system, such as speeding up the process of approvals for development. Entitled Planning for the Future, the report suggests “to streamline and modernize the planning process, bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure, and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who described the existing process as “outdated and ineffective”, stated that this proposed change is “unlike anything we have seen since the Second World War”. Starting off with expanding permitted development rights, the reform has already faced opposition from RIBA, who urged the housing minister to reconsider. The published paper will go through a 12-week public consultation in order to gather feedback.
"The whole thing is beginning to crumble and the time has come to do what too many have for too long lacked the courage to do – tear it down and start again […] Not more fiddling around the edges, not simply painting over the damp patches, but levelling the foundations and building, from the ground up, a whole new planning system for England.” -- Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
On another hand, the paper introduces 3 categories of land, growth, renewal, or protected, where planning will be automatic in the first, limited in the second, and restricted in the final one. Moreover, new national numbers for newly built homes are presented, and new laws will make decision making faster with firm deadlines. Local residents are solicited to respond to upcoming proposals online. In addition, projects considered of high quality will be granted automatic planning approvals. Finally, to prevent developers from generating low-quality affordable homes, a cash equivalent will be demanded by local authorities, in case no buyers are found.
For more info on the proposed reforms, check the Planning for the future paper.