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It has long been said that one of the biggest problems for developers trying to hit new house building targets set by the government is the red tape involved in the planning process. So, the announcement by the Prime Minister that he was to slash red tape and introduce radical reform is welcome news.
According to the Housing Secretary, Robert Jenrick, he will be “bringing forward radical and necessary reforms to our planning system to get Britain building and to drive our economic recovery”.
The idea is that the country will be divided into three types of land – areas for Growth which would allow new developments and the infrastructure required to support them by introducing a ‘permission in principle’ approach; land for Renewal which would typically be brownfield and urban sites and land designated Protected which would ensure that the Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Green Belt remain protected for future generations.
The ‘Permission in Principle’ would enable the planning process to be speeded up but would still be subject to full consent from the local council in line with local development plans, as well as a new ‘design code’ to enable a more diverse style of building and room for the smaller developer alongside the bigger dominant players. Mr Jenrick states, “our reformed system places a higher regard on quality….and draws inspiration from the idea of design codes and pattern books that built Bath, Belgravia and Bourneville.”
The City of Bath (above left) set out as an example for the quality of new housing developments to replace the ‘identikit’ type developments (above right) currently being built.
The second part of the reform will come with a technological overhaul of the planning process; a move away from “notices on lampposts to an interactive and accessible map-based on line system” allowing local people to see quickly and easily what is happening in their area and respond.
A new era of technology is proposed to replace the old style planning notices with a modern, on-line system to allow local democracy to be both more efficient and transparent in the planning process.
The construction industry is a provider of millions of jobs and so it is seen as essential in helping to get the economy up and running again following the pandemic; these changes are hoping to create thousands of new jobs “from bricklayers to architects”.
The wish is that these reforms will provide a faster process that is accessible to more people whilst managing to create a higher standard of modern developments, environmentally friendly homes and communities where people are proud to live in better quality housing at more affordable prices.
If you are looking to build, either as a developer or individual, you will need a Structural Warranty for your new build. We are specialist providers in the market.
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