The Communities and Local Government Committee has announced an inquiry into the timing and content of the Government's consultation on national planning policy. The inquiry looks at issues such as the 'housing delivery test', ranking how areas are providing local homes, the relaxation of building restrictions on protected Green Belt land, and changes to the definition of affordable housing.
Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said:
"The Government's consultation represents the first changes to the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). As a Committee, we want to examine the proposed changes to the Green Belt, the definition of affordable housing, and the impact on local decision-making from proposed measures such as the housing delivery test. Decisions about local development should be taken at local level – this short inquiry will be examining whether the Government's proposals damage this principle. We also want to explore why the Government’s deadline for replies to the consultation is so short, leaving us little time for our inquiry, and potentially insufficient time for many interested parties to reply to the Government and provide evidence to ourselves."
On 7 December 2015, the Department for Communities and Local Government announced a consultation on proposed changes to national planning policy. This covers:
- Broadening the definition of affordable housing, to expand the range of low cost housing opportunities
- Increasing the density of development around commuter hubs, to make more efficient use of land in suitable locations
- Supporting sustainable new settlements, development on brownfield land and small sites, and delivery of housing agreed in Local Plans
- Supporting delivery of starter homes
- Transitional arrangements
The consultation was originally scheduled to close on Monday 29 January 2015, but following representations from the Committee, the deadline has been extended to 22 February 2016.
Letter from Chair to Secretary of State for DCLG regarding the National Planning Policy Framework (PDF 76 KB) ( PDF 444 KB)
The Communities and Local Government Committee is seeking evidence on the following points:
- The proposals in the consultation affecting green belt land
- Consequences of changes to the definition of affordable housing
- The housing delivery test and its implications
- Proposals on the use for housing of commercial land and developments
- Other proposals in the consultation
- The timing and length of the consultation
The Committees deadline has been extended. Written evidence should now be submitted by 25 January 2016. To submit evidence, please visit the inquiry page.