Thursday, 19 May 2016

Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill >>> >>> "putting neighbourhood plans at the heart of planning"

The Housing Act has been passed - including provisions to recognise the importance of neighbourhood planning:
Futures Forum: Housing Act passed >>> supporting Neighbourhood Plans by ensuring complete plans are referred to in decisions

A new bill has been presented - which will include further strengthening of neighbourhood plans:

Further changes to planning system in prospect following Queen's Speech

Thursday, 19 May 2016 09:49
Further reforms to the planning system, changes to how the courts and local authorities approach adoption and new powers for councils to tackle extremism were among the key measures unveiled in yesterday’s Queen’s Speech.
The main elements of the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill are to be:
  • Neighbourhood Planning: the Bill will "further strengthen neighbourhood planning and give even more power to local people"; it will also strengthen neighbourhood planning by making the local government duty to support groups more transparent and by improving the process for reviewing and updating plans.

Local Government Lawyer - Further changes to planning system in prospect following Queen's Speech
Queen’s speech: planning changes | East Devon Watch

This is the reaction from the Campaign to Protect Rural England:

CPRE reflects on Queen's Speech announcements

18 May 2016

CPRE reflects on Queen's Speech announcements
Several new bills of interest to the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) were announced in the Queen's Speech today. These included a Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill, and a Digital Economy Bill.
The former appears to put neighbourhood plans at the heart of planning following detailed discussions during the Housing and Planning Bill (now Act). The description of the Bill also seeks to emphasise the importance of protecting the Green Belt while building the homes we need. The Bill will, however, propose changes to pre-commencement planning conditions. CPRE fears such changes would mean fewer environmental considerations before development begins.
The Digital Economy Bill, meanwhile, seeks to establish a legal right to fast broadband, following a recent consultation discussing how to extend superfast broadband services to the 5% (most often rural areas) who do not currently have adequate access.
Paul Miner, Tom Fyans and Belinda Gordon reflect on the announcements in today’s Queen’s Speech.

Paul Miner, planning campaign manager, on Government proposals to relax pre-commencement planning conditions: 
“We are worried that this looks like another attempt to liberalise, rather than localise, the planning system.
“Of course, local authorities must ensure that conditions are reasonable – but they have no incentive to slow down housing development once permission has been granted. But we are worried that the bill could lead to overstretched local authorities throwing in the towel and not insisting that important environmental surveys take place before development goes ahead.
“The Government must make sure that local authorities can always insist on conditions such as archaeological and tree surveys and proper mediation where there is a reason to believe they are needed. These are issues that deserve proper scrutiny from all sides, and especially from developers. Anything less and the support of the local community, and the beauty of the countryside, could be undermined and lost.”

Tom Fyans, director of campaigns and policy at CPRE, comments:
On neighbourhood planning
“After ministers pledged to ensure the ‘primacy’ of neighbourhood plans during debates on the Housing Bill, we are very pleased to see neighbourhood planning on the name of the new bill.
“The Government has clearly committed to empowering local communities in today’s announcements. Along with supportive peers and MPs, we now keenly await further detail on how the Government will make the duty to consult neighbourhood planning groups more transparent, and how it intends to improve the process of reviewing and updating plans.”
On Green Belt
“Our research recently showed that more than 275,000 houses are now planned for Green Belt land, a threat unprecedented in recent times. Too often has the Government passed the buck on Green Belt protection – and to councils under Government pressure to meet unrealistic and unsustainably high housing targets.
“It is therefore good to see the Government putting Green Belt protection at the top of its housing agenda, but we do need to see more action from ministers to make sure that protection actually happens.”

CPRE reflects on Queen's Speech announcements - Campaign to Protect Rural England

And this is the view from the National Housing Federation:

Orr: 'Queen's Speech gives us clarity'


Published by Mark Lawrence for 24dash.com in Housing and also inCentral GovernmentDevelopment

Kings and CamelsKings and Camels
David Orr, chief executive, National Housing Federation, shares his thoughts on the Queen's Speech.
The Queen’s Speech gave us a clear signal of where the government’s priorities lie when it comes to tackling the housing shortage, and provides more clarity for housing associations as the sector looks to continue its work with the government on this.
Restating their commitment to building a million new homes shows us that we can’t let up on our work if we as a country are to achieve this ambitious target.
There were three areas announced as part of the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill which will have an impact on housing associations: Neighbourhood Planning, Compulsory Purchase Orders, and the National Infrastructure Commission.  Taken together they show the government’s commitment to making building easier, and the beginning of a focus on long-term strategic housebuilding. 
Further commitment to neighbourhood planning could be a real catalyst for speeding up locally-driven housebuilding, particularly in rural areas, and will give communities ownership of development and regeneration in their local area.  
Adopting Neighbourhood Plans means that neighbourhoods can come together to write Neighbourhood Development Orders.  These give planning permission to all developments of a certain type within the neighbourhood area, meaning that developers don’t have to worry about not getting planning permission at a crucial point in the development cycle.  Neighbourhoods with Development Orders also get to keep 25% of community infrastructure levy receipts from developments granted planning permission. 
Housing associations will play an important role within the Neighbourhood Planning process. They can help prepare Neighbourhood Development Orders which could be used to grant housing development or regenerate existing estates, which can also provide a useful opportunity for local stakeholders to come together and discuss development plans and pipelines. 

Orr: 'Queen's Speech gives us clarity' » Housing » 24dash.com

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