Further Legislation Expected Later this Year Extending Permission in Principle

The Planner

Housing and planning minister Gavin Barwell has announced that local authorities across England will now have to produce and maintain up-to-date registers listing all brownfield sites available for housing.

The registers will be available to the public and the aim of them is to help house builders identify suitable brownfield sites for development.

They will allow local communities to highlight local derelict or underused building sites that are primed for development.

Barwell said reusing brownfield land is “crucial” to building more homes.

“We need to build more homes in this country so making sure that we reuse brownfield land is crucial. We want to bring life back to abandoned sites, create thousands more homes and help protect our valued countryside.”

These new registers will give local authorities and developers the tools to do this.

Brownfield registers were first piloted in 2016, when 73 local planning authorities across the country pioneered the measures.

At the time the government said the councils taking part in the pilots would inform future government policy and guidance on the operation of brownfield registers.

In addition, the £3 billion Home Builders Fund, announced by communities secretary Sajid Javid at the Conservative Party Conference in October 2016, will be used to support the development of brownfield sites.

Permission in principle will be used to gain planning permission through these registers. The government said this would give developers more certainty over whether a site is suitable for development.

Further legislation is expected later this year on extending permission in principle more widely through the planning system.

Jason Lowes, partner in the planning team at commercial property and planning consultancy Rapleys, noted that the announcement is light on detail, but the attempt to streamline development of brownfield land is welcome progress.

He said together the two mechanisms have the potential to “lower the initial hurdle” of bringing forward development through the planning system, which “has to be supported”.

“The owners, particularly of small and medium-sized sites, would no doubt be pleased with a relatively simple method of getting on the planning ladder, and provide them with early confidence to further investigate the potential of their land.

“Of course,” said Lowes, “the success of this venture very much depends on local authorities’ ability to keep the register up to date and implement the new permission in principle regulations. This has the potential to be a real administrative challenge and will require careful management to ensure the opportunity to increase the delivery of housing isn’t missed.”

 

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One thought on “Further Legislation Expected Later this Year Extending Permission in Principle

  1. More and more undermining of the system designed to limit the excesses of the chancers and cowboys.
    Who picks up the bill for determining the land designated as brownfield is actually available and suitable for development? How much of the fee uplift now in the pipeline is now already required to be syphoned off by this latest central government burden on local government?
    Given the amount of public land that falls into this category, will NHS, MOD, ministries, etc be directed to cooperate with LOAs? Also, what about all those areas held by the ‘church’ and those held by numerous of the awkward squad collectively known as the Oxbridge colleges? Will government use their muscle to force all the mystery landowners out of the shadows, or is this about the easy option of directing and then criticising because the policy under delivers?

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