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News - 24/11/2021

Recap: Planning Legislation and Reform 2021

A handy guide to keep you up to date on the recent and upcoming planning updates

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As we fast approach the end of 2021, there are a number of important planning updates filtering through, which are nationally relevant for planning policy, development, land and regeneration opportunities over the coming months.

The Planning Bill 2021/22

  • Chris Pincher, the Housing Secretary, announced at the Planning for Housing Conference on 18th November 2021, that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will review the proposed changes to the planning system and review all responses. 
  • Pincher believes that there is a clear need for the planning system to become speedier, more transparent, and more predictable. This was echoed by respondents to our recently conducted Residential Development Survey, who cited planning policy as the single biggest factor affecting the delivery of new housing. 
  • The government's final response on this will likely come forward in the early part of 2022. 

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is now Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)

  • Michael Gove has replaced Robert Jenerick as Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and has requested a 'complete rethink' of the planning reforms proposed under the previous draft Planning White Paper.
  • Joanna Averley, Chief Planner for the DLUHC has urged Local Plans to progress in line with the government's deadline of December 2023 for all local authorities to have them up-to-date. 
  • Illustrations for the National Model Design Code have been released to help with coding. 

The Environment Act 2021

The Environment Act 2021 was given Royal Assent (the Monarch's agreement that is required to make a Bill into an Act of Parliament) on the 8th November 2021. There are many areas relevant to planning, such as:

  • Confirmed target of 10% bio-diversity net gain
  • The production of a 'Bio-Diversity Net Gain Site Register'
  • The emergence of 'Local Nature Recovery Strategies'

What to look out for in 2022...

Housing Delivery Tests 2022

Our team will once again provide you with up to date analysis of the Housing Delivery Tests on which Local Authorities are performing, and which are not.

The Planning Bill

The hotly anticipated Planning Bill will be re-appearing next year, under Gove. Keep subscribed to see our viewpoints and thoughts on what this means for planning and development across England and Wales.

A Green Belt Review

Long mooted, but we think it could be the year of a Green Belt review, supporting the release of sustainable sites in a comprehensive manner. 

A change in approach to planning contributions

Could we see a decline in high-rise buildings, as a high-rise building levy may be proposed? Will there be significant changes to CIL? As a critical part of our work as planning consultants, we will monitor Levy changes throughout 2022.

For more information on any of the above or for tailored planning advice, please get in touch with a member of our team below. 


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