So what’s in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill?

Number 10 has issued a press release.  Bill not yet introduced to parliament but it should be later today.

It contains nothing on powers to introduce ‘special measures’ and direct applications to Planning Inspectorate, expect clauses at report stage.

The press release trumpets Land Securities now agreeing to start a major development in London however this is nothing to do with the bill but with secondary legislation introduced last week to undo a double charging technicality that a government cock up introduced.

Most of the press release is nothing to do with planning and the planning section of the press release refers to measures being introduced in the Energy Bill to do with Gas electricity etc.  Revealing again that the assault on planning is more to do with diversionary tactics ideology that reform or legislative reality.

It refer to

Cutting back the volume of paperwork which applicants have to submit with a planning application, which go over and above what is reasonably needed to inform planners about the proposed development.

But again this will be done by GPDO amendments.

Whilst

Stopping misuse of legislation to slow down agreed developments, whilst protecting its use to safeguard cherished community spaces.

Looks like the overdue reform of village green legislation.

It will implement the Penfold review, long overdue and in the one key measure affecting planning.

Speeding up the planning system for large scale business and commercial projects. Where developers choose the fast-track route, decisions will be taken in twelve months. Existing requirements to consult local communities are retained.

This is a backtrack from the reform measures announced last month which included large scale housing (though not in the DCLG version) as Nick Boles the Minister for Central Planning announced last week this is no longer on the cards, although how there will a national infrastructure statement for large scale commercial development no-one knows, unless they abolish the need for that in which case the IPC branch of the Planning inspectorate will simply become the department for rubber stamping.

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