Response to Government consultations

We will respond to government consultations or other planning consultations such as those being carried out by the Greater London Authority and the Mayor of London as required.

Below you can find documents that we have prepared and submitted in response to consultations since October 2020.

Government consultation on 'implementation of plan-making reforms'

The government ran a consultation from 25 July 2023 to 18 October 2023 on the indicative implementation of proposed plan-making reforms, which formed part of the reforms consulted on earlier in the year (see below).

The consultation sought views on a wide range of procedural changes necessary for the proposed plan-making reforms, including changes to plan content, the local plan timeframe, evidence, examination, monitoring, and supplementary planning documents, as well as the introduction of Community Land Auctions. The consultation also applied to Minerals and Waste Plans, but as we do not prepare such a plan we have not commented on these aspects.

Summary of the proposed changes:

  • Plans should contain a locally distinctive vision, with sustainable development running as a golden thread throughout
  • Plans to be adopted in a new 30-month timeframe, after an initial scoping exercise
  • Plans to embrace more digitisation
  • Standardisation of key evidence and data, and the freezing of same
  • Introduction of new 'gateway' assessments to take place throughout the Plan preparation period before examination
  • Revisions to the examinations procedures in an effort to speed up the process
  • Stronger focus on community engagement
  • Changes to Supplementary Planning Documents into Supplementary Plans
  • Introduction of Community Land Auctions
  • Plans will be updated at least every five years

View our submission:

Government consultation on 'Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: Reforms to National Planning Policy'

Government ran a consultation from 22 January 2022 until 2 March 2023 on proposed revisions to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), their proposed approach to preparing National Development Management Policies and how to develop policy that facilitates levelling-up.

Summary of the proposed changes to the NPPF:

  • Amendments to the wording on housing need assessments
  • Changes to the methodology for calculating housing land supply
  • Updates to the housing delivery test, to incorporate permissions
  • The removal of the Duty to Cooperate
  • Insertion of references to beauty
  • Changes to how Plans are examined
  • The creation of National Development Management Policies

View our submission:

Government consultation on 'Supporting housing delivery and public service infrastructure'

This includes:

  • A new permitted development right for a change of use to residential to create new homes;
  • Measures to provide public service infrastructure more quickly through expanded permitted development rights and a new streamlined planning application process for hospitals, schools and prisons;
  • The approach to simplifying and consolidating existing permitted development rights following changes to the Use Classes Order

See below our submissions:

Government consultation on ‘Planning for the Future’ (Planning White Paper)

Government undertook a 12-week consultation from 6 August until 29 October 2020 on ‘Planning for the Future’. The Planning White Paper proposes radical reforms to the planning system.

We welcome the notion of reforming the existing planning system to improve quality and efficiency, but we do not believe that an entirely new system is needed. We have focussed our response on the positive actions or recommendations, making clear where we do not consider the proposed reforms will achieve the desired outcomes. In addition, we have offered to share our learning and experience with Government officials, particularly in terms of bringing forward growth at scale through using design codes and masterplans underpinned by infrastructure funding secured through section 106 and CIL.

The Government’s proposals for significant reform of the planning system were considered by our Strategic Planning and Transportation Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 22 September 2020. Our final response to the Planning White Paper was agreed through a delegated decision.

See below our submissions:

Government consultation on ‘Changes to the current planning system’

Government undertook a consultation from 6 August until 1 October 2020 on ‘Changes to the current planning system’.  This consultation sets out proposals for measures to improve the effectiveness of the current planning system, including changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need; securing of First Homes through developer contributions; supporting small and medium-sized builders by temporarily lifting the small sites threshold below which developers do not need to contribute to affordable housing; and extending the current Permission in Principle to major development.

The Government’s proposed changes to the current planning system were considered by the our Strategic Planning and Transportation Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 22 September 2020 alongside the proposals set out in the Planning White Paper. Our final response to the ‘Changes to the current planning system’ was agreed through a delegated decision.

See below our submissions: