Since the publication of the White Paper on 6 August there has been an avalanche of comment and commentary from across the development industry spectrum – so here’s CODA Planning’s’ initial take on proceedings.
Just to be clear the content of the paper is not law [yet] – there is still a long way to go before all or any of this reaches the statute books.
The key theme is the return to what we would call proper plan-making – a simple, easy to produce and interpret plan – which is a plan – to say what can go where. This is where we were 25 years ago – an approach that has been diluted by the tinkering’s of successive governments to deliver the current complicated and over-prescriptive system.
So, a new easier to interpret development plan – which will be based on housing numbers using a national methodology – no more arguing at local plan examinations about objectively assessed need or even 5-year housing land supply. Local authorities will be given a number and they will have to plan to meet it exactly – it will be binding. These numbers will be calculated centrally with “policy on” – i.e. constraints such as environmental designations and Green Belt will be taken into consideration.
How will they meet it? Well it will be through the identification of “growth” or “renewal” areas. Once the plan is adopted the uses and scales of development fund to be acceptable in those areas will
Applications for development will then be governed by an adopted “pattern” book setting out issues such as scale, massing, materials etc which could be adopted and relate to individual streets within an area.
Interesting times ahead! Consultation to start imminently.
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