Plans to create a “more predictable and more transparent” developer contributions levy to replace the current system of section 106 agreements and the community infrastructure levy (CIL) will proceed in the upcoming planning bill, the government confirmed today.
The government has said that the planning bill will change the rules governing development corporations, which it has previously suggested could be given broader powers over plan-making and development management, as well as greater access to developer contributions.
The High Court has dismissed a legal bid by local government bodies and backed by the secretary of state to enable virtual council meetings, including planning committees, to continue beyond 6 May, concluding that the law has to be changed to allow this.
The government is to introduce a “fast track” ten-week application route for new schools, universities and hospitals, as well as new permitted development (PD) rights allowing such buildings to expand to a greater extent, the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has confirmed.
A cross-government taskforce has been established to “unblock” stalled development caused by nutrient pollution issues, while there is a “role” for further “cross local authority boundary” strategic planning beyond current proposals for a spatial framework between Oxford and Cambridge, the housing minister has said.
The housing secretary has announced that he will extend relaxed planning measures to make it easier for hospitality businesses to serve the public outdoors by a further year and is keen to make temporary rules easing the selling of takeaways by restaurants, pubs and cafes permanent.
The new requirement for councils to draw up local design codes means they will need to carry out extensive community engagement and closely involve developers and landowners, practitioners have advised, though local authority resource and skills deficits will need to be addressed.
Government moves to make it harder for councils to remove historic statues and memorials will mean planners making “political” and “moral” judgments, experts claim, while a requirement to notify the secretary of state when such situations arise is likely to create more work for local authority planning teams.
Councils without an up-to-date local plan in place could see their New Homes Bonus (NHB) payments cut, while the threshold for payment of the bonus based on a baseline percentage of annual housing growth could be raised, to “sharpen its incentive effect and encourage more ambitious housing delivery”, according to a consultation document.
The housing ministry has revealed 22 counties or sub-regions that will benefit from £1.5 million of funding to prepare local lists of heritage assets, after deciding to double the amount of money available for the project due to “overwhelmingly positive interest”.