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So, It’s A Free-for-all In Land Planning?

By Expert Author: Kelly Leary

Is it a free-for-all in land planning?

Well, not quite!

The Government is proposing some significant reforms to "provide a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest home-building programmes this country has seen in a generation," in the words of Prime Minister David Cameron.

The proposed reforms include the following:

Large commercial and residential applications will be directed to a major infrastructure fast-track system;

The government will invest in housing sites to create 5,000 homes for rent at market rates;

The Planning Inspectorate has been instructed with immediate effect to divert resources to prioritise all major economic and housing-related appeals;

Affordable homes will not be required where it can be shown that to build them what make a scheme unviable;

There will be a measure to allow developers the chance to seek additional time to get their sites up and running before planning permission expires;
Developers will be able to opt to have their planning application determined by the Planning Inspectorate instead of poor-performing councils.

Other measures include:

New legislation for Government guarantees of up to £40 billion worth of major infrastructure projects and up to £10 billion of new homes. The Infrastructure (Financial Assistance) Bill will include guaranteeing the debt of housing associations and private sector developers.
16,500 first-time buyers helped with a £280 million extension of the successful "First Buy" scheme, which offers aspiring homeowners a much-needed deposit and a crucial first step on the housing ladder.

The Governments see an infrastructure and house-building programme as a key factor in delivering a prosperous economy; as in the 1930s, we are going to build our way out of the recession. Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said, “This Government wants to get the economy growing. To remove unnecessary red tape. To support locally led sustainable development.”

The above measures are to be applauded. The planning system will remain fundamentally intact; however, measures to reduce bureaucracy and promote an efficient, timely planning system, allowing good-quality development to proceed quickly, will provide the infrastructure, jobs and economic boost necessary for the UK economy to thrive.

~ Anthony Brindley, Lucent Group UK ~

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