The Government's housing white paper, published on 7 February 2017, contains proposals for a number of planning reforms. This page summarises some of the key planning proposals from it and contains links to initial reactions to it. It also brings together some of the other documents published at the same time as the white paper.
The Government published its housing white paper, Fixing our broken housing market on 7 February 2017. Its publication was preceded by a statement in the House of Commons about it from the Secretary of State with contributions from a range of Members. The Government is consulting on the proposals in the white paper and responses can be submitted until 2 May 2017.
As well as a range of policies aimed at helping to diversify the housing market and helping people to afford a home, the white paper also focusses heavily on changes that can be made to planning law and policy. The Library briefing paper, Planning for housing provides further information about the existing policies on how local authorities are expected to calculate their housing supply, as well as the circumstances in which they are expected to provide an extra buffer in their calculations.
The white paper also sets out that the existing protection for the green belt remains unchanged and emphasises that authorities should amend Green Belt boundaries only when they can demonstrate that they have examined fully all other reasonable options for meeting their identified development requirements. Further information on existing green belt protection is available from the Library briefing paper, Green belt.
The first chapter of the white paper contains measures on “planning for the right homes in the right places”. Some of the key proposals under this heading include:
Another chapter of the white paper is concerned with “building homes faster”. Some of its key proposals include:
A number of organisations have published their response to the white paper online. These include:
Alongside the white paper, the Government also published a number of responses to outstanding consultations and select committee reports. A new consultation on planning and affordable housing for build to rent was published and the Government also published the report submitted by the Community Infrastructure Review Group.
The rural planning review call for evidence sought views on how the planning system was operating in rural areas and invited ideas about how the planning system could be improved to support sustainable rural life and businesses. As well as providing a summary of the responses to this call for evidence and the Government’s response, the response document also seeks views on extending the thresholds for agricultural permitted development rights to help farmers, and on a new agricultural to residential permitted development right to help provide housing for rural workers.
The Government’s response also contains the formal response to the upwards extensions in London consultation which sought views on proposals to deliver more homes in London by allowing a limited number of additional storeys on existing buildings through a permitted development right, local development orders or development plan policies.
Finally, the Government’s response also contains the response to the technical consultation on implementation of planning changes which contained the detailed proposals to support certain provisions of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
This provides the government’s response to the consultation document which sought views on proposed changes to national planning policy. It covered the following areas:
A new consultation was also published on Planning and Affordable Housing for Build to Rent. The consultation seeks views on planning measures to support an increase in Build to Rent schemes across England. This includes changing the NPPF to support and to increase the number of new Build to Rent homes, and the provision of Affordable Private Rent homes as the main form of affordable housing provision on Build to Rent schemes. The consultation closes on 1 May 2017.
The Government also published the final report of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Review Group, Independent report: Community Infrastructure Levy review: report to government, which was submitted to the Government in October 2016.
Commons Briefing papers CBP-7896
Author: Louise Smith