MPs are said to be considering the introduction of new development zones with relaxed rules and further permitted development (PD) rights as part of a ‘New Deal’ for planning.
In a publication launched by the Policy Exchange think tank, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick laid out a vision to “rethink planning” and “speed up and simplify this country’s overly bureaucratic planning process”.
Reform of the planning system is understood to form part of the government’s plan to re-stimulate the economy following the pandemic crisis.
Among the potential changes include:
- A new zonal planning system: whereby a proposed development that complies with all applicable zoning codes does not require any special consideration from the authorities. By amending England’s design codes, “attractive” buildings may be expedited through the planning process.
- Creation of special development zones: the government invests in public infrastructure to stimulate private development, with private developers playing an expanded role.
- Furthering change of use rules: the government is also likely to extend change of use rules for existing properties, such as turning unused shops into homes or offices.
An official advisory panel has been set up to consider the New Deal measures, including Bridget Rosewell, the national infrastructure commissioner, property developer Sir Stuart Lipton and barrister Christopher Katkowski, Nicholas Boys Smith, founder of Create Streets, co-chair of the Building Better, Building Beautiful Commission, and Miles Gibson, head of UK research at advisory group CBRE.