Proposed changes to the planning system – our consultation response

06 October 2020

We’ve produced a briefing for members which sets out our response to the government’s consultation on short-term changes to the planning system.

The government’s consultation was launched on 6 August alongside proposals for longer-term reforms set out in its planning white paper, Planning for the Future

We welcome initiatives to make planning a simpler and more efficient process. Following consultation with our members, however, we identified a number of concerns with the proposed short-term changes.

We set these concerns out in our response to the consultation, submitted on 1 October. This briefing provides a summary of the issues we raised as well as our detailed responses in full.

  • The proposal to increase the threshold above which developers must make affordable housing contributions under Section 106:

    • Would mean a reduced supply of new affordable homes, particularly in areas that rely on Section 106 contributions.
    • May also mean that fewer new homes would be built due to landowners reassessing ongoing developments.
    • May present a greater risk to smaller developers due to increased land prices and a reliance on the open market.

  • While we support the principle of First Homes, the proposal that First Homes make up 25% of affordable housing delivered under Section 106:

    • May threaten the provision of more affordable homes.
    • Would prevent local authorities having the freedom to plan for the particular needs of their areas.
  • The proposal to revise the standard method for calculating local housing need:
    • Would further reduce the amount of affordable housing built in areas such as the north of England by not capturing true housing need.
    • May create an imbalance between urban areas and suburban and rural areas.

We want to hear from you

We’re continuing to seek responses and comments from members on the Planning for the Future white paper – if you have any feedback, please get in touch.

Tell us your views on the planning reforms proposed in the government’s new white paper

The government published a new planning white paper, Planning for the Future, on 6 August, as well as a consultation on changes to the existing planning system.

The white paper sets out proposals for major reforms to the planning system, including a proposal to replace existing developer contributions to affordable housing with a new levy on housing development.

We’re seeking feedback from members from across the sector on these briefings.