Since the Coalition Agreement, major reforms to the planning system have taken place with the introduction of the Localism Act 2011 and the National Planning Policy Framework. Changes have also been made in the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013, aimed at speeding up the planning system.
The Infrastructure Bill 2014-15 is now going through the House of Commons and contains a number of changes to the process of making and modifying development consent orders for nationally significant infrastructure projects. It also proposes a new system for deemed discharge of planning conditions. Further information about all of these provisions is set out in the Library research paper, Infrastructure Bill, RP14/65, 4 December 2014.
Outside of this Bill a number of other announcements on planning reform have also been made, most recently in Budget 2014, the Technical Consultation on Planning July 2014, Consultation: planning and travellers, September 2014, National Infrastructure Plan 2014 and Autumn Statement 2014, December 2014, which together include:
• allowing further changes of use to residential use without requiring planning permission;
• reforming the system of permitted development rights;
• amending the definition of “travellers” for planning purposes;
• proposals to get more brownfield land back into use;
• steps to speed up section 106 negotiations; and
• proposed reform of the compulsory purchase regime.
Most of the proposals would apply to England only.
This note sets out more information about the key planning reform announcements and an overview the proposals. For information about proposals to stimulate housing supply see Library standard note, Stimulating housing supply.