Government Launches Consultation on New Planning Measures

Government Launches Consultation on New Planning Measures

The UK’s planning system can be a long and drawn-out process, whether it’s regarding proposals to build a new residential development or add a balcony to an existing property. The government has recently opened up the consultation process to simplify and improve the system.

Brandon Lewis, the planning and housing minister, has announced government plans to make the UK’s planning process quicker. This will enable development sites to gain approval sooner and increase the number of new homes that are being built. Often these sites can become stalled for months as negotiations continue between the various parties involved.

The Problem of Section 106

One element of the process, Section 106 agreements, can be particularly time-consuming. These agreements place conditions on the plans being approved which are generally aimed at improving the benefits of the scheme for the local community. This could include enhancing the local transport links, including a proportion of affordable housing or adding in the need for other local infrastructure. However, this process can increase the time frame for a project, dragging out the planning process for months. These local elements will still be an important part of the planning process, but the government’s plans will increase the speed of the negotiations to agree them.

The government’s proposals will now be available for consultation until March 19th. The main component of the proposals is that everything concerning a specific planning application will now need to be agreed and finalised within the current target to process plans, which is between eight and thirteen weeks. This period will have to include any requirements from Section 106 so that it’s not adding any time to the process. Applicants and other concerned parties will need to begin negotiations at the start of the process to make this achievable rather than leaving discussions till towards the end.

These improvements to the overall planning system are part of the government’s commitment to enhance and simplify the process. Other measures that they want to put in place include making the process of converting retail or commercial premises into residential properties far smoother. Whether by utilising the existing structure or creating an entirely new building, these sites are often ideally placed for residential schemes. They may be close to transport links or within urban centres, but the system is currently slowing down the conversion process.

Residential Planning Proposals

If you require planning permission for a development such as a balcony installation or a home extension, it’s important to understand exactly what is required. If you include all the relevant details with your application, this can speed up the process and reduce the need for the local planning department to request further information.

The majority of applications can now be submitted online through the government’s Planning Portal. This offers a quick and simple system and there is step-by-step support on how to make your application. You can attach all your plans, drawings and other documents, and the application is then sent directly to the relevant local authority.