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  • Writer's pictureDAC Planning Team

February 2024 Planning Reform Round Up


Cranes and construction sign

On 13 February 2024 there were a flurry of publications by the Department of Levelling up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), including:

·        The London Plan Review report

·        A Secretary of State letter to the Mayor of London


This blog post will outline the key policy changes proposed through the above publications.

 

The London Plan Review

The London Plan Review was commissioned by the Secretary of State Michael Gove and was published on 13 February 2024, following a letter to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, in December 2023.

 

The London Plan Review report recommends the adoption of a new overarching policy provision, either as a new policy in its own right, or through the addition of text to existing London Plan policies.

 

The recommended overarching policy would require London Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) that are underperforming in net housing completions to apply a strong presumption in favour of granting planning permission as quickly as possible on proposals that include residential development on brownfield land.


The draft policy effectively overrides other London and Local Plan policy provisions and asks. The draft policy states that substantial weight is to be given to the benefits of delivering homes, and not affordable homes explicitly.


Letter to the Mayor of London

Following the report, Michael Gove has again written a letter to the Mayor of London, agreeing with the conclusions of the London Plan Review report, and stating that there is benefit in bringing these findings in more broadly across the UK. City Hall has dismissed the findings of the report, calling it a “stunt”, and stating that London is “outbuilding the rest of the country”.


In line with the letter, a new consultation on Strengthening planning policy for brownfield development was published on 13 February 2024, which proposes two revisions to the NPPF.


Brownfield Development Consultation

The first proposed revision is through the addition of text that directs decision makers to give significant weight to the benefits of delivering as many homes as possible, especially on previously developed land (PDL) / brownfield. It also adds text to state that LPAs should flexibly apply Local Plan internal layout policies that could result in the ‘most efficient use of land’ not being achieved.


The second proposed revision requires the urban uplift authorities with below a 95% score on their Housing Delivery Test (HDT) to apply the NPPF presumption for planning applications on previously developed land.


Permitted Development Rights Consultation

An additional consultation was also published on 13 February 2024 on proposed changes to permitted development rights (PDR) to allow commercial buildings of any size to be converted into new homes.


The combined effect of the proposed policy changes through the publications outlined above is clearly to increase the speed and quantity of approvals for development on brownfield land and prioritise the delivery of as many residential units as possible through these, at possibly higher densities than before.


 

How we can help

Interested in learning more about planning reforms? DAC Planning provides local plan support and advice. For a discussion on how we can assist you, please get in touch with the team:

admin@dacplanning.com / 01206 259281


This information is for general informative purposes only. Whilst every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, DAC Planning accepts no liability whatsoever for any direct or consequential loss arising from its use.

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