Additional Reforms Proposed and Up-Coming Consultations
In autumn 2020 a review of the National Planning Policy Framework will be published for consultation.
In the Spending Review, the Government aim to prepare a specific, investable proposal for modernising planning systems in local Government. Tim limited funding will be made available by the Government in line with the new burdens principle to support local planning authorities to transition to the new planning system.
Whilst the Nation Design Guide, published in October 2019, illustrates how the government wish to promote well-designed places that are beautiful, enduring and successful (with defining ten characteristics of successful places and the measures which can deliver these), they also intend to publish a National Model Design Code in autumn 2020 to supplement the guide. This will set out more detailed parameters for development in different types of location. It will consider issues such as 'the arrangement and proportions of streets and urban blocks, positioning and hierarchy of public spaces, successful parking arrangements, placement of street trees, and high quality cycling and walking provision, in line with the wider vision for cycling and walking in England.' The new code will complement a proposed revision to and consolidation of the Manual for Streets.
In autumn 2020 a detailed consultation is anticipated on proposals for a new system to take advantage of opportunities for environmental improvements as well as meeting domestic and international environmental protection obligations.
Later in 2020, the Government aim to bring forward proposals for improving the resourcing of planning departments, Effective leadership within authorities is seen as crucial and it is believed that each authority should appoint a chief officer to design and place-making, as recommended by the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission.
The Environment Bill currently before Parliament will legislate for mandatory net gains for biodiversity as a condition of most new development.
The Government are expected to respond to the Future Homes Standard consultation in full in autumn 2020. As part of this, they intend to review the 'roadmap' to the Future Homes Standard to endure that implementation occurs quickly. The aim will be for homes built under the new planning system not to need retrofitting in the future to be zero-carbon.
Reform to the planning system could also be accompanied by a 'deep-dice' regulatory review to identify and eliminate outdated regulations which increase cost for local planning authorities, especially to the decision-making process.
Helen Winkler, Senior Planning Consultant, Tyler Parkes