The planning system is slow, inefficient and one where the Case Officer now seems to be less engaged with processing planning applications. The default position seems to be to refuse planning applications rather than grant them.
You may be aware the UK Government is consulting on amending the national planning policy framework with consultations due by 2nd March 2023. I read the Consultation Draft with dismay. The Government proposes to make a number of changes with the main ones as follows:
1. Making housing target numbers to inform 5 year land supply targets as advisory figures as opposed to mandatory ones, using the standard methodology as a way of calculating house prices which is linked to affordability only.
2. Bringing in a plan led system. The current system is plan led. However, local plans take Planning Authorities years and years to adopt. For example, Buckinghamshire Council’s VALP took 7 years to be adopted. By the time the plans are adopted they are out of date.
3. Boosting the status of Neighbourhood Plans. Most Neighbourhood Plans are actually in place to prevent development. With many of the plans I have been involved with limiting development to infill plots only.
4. Ensuring authorities do not review Green Belt land boundaries.
5. Provide smaller plots for smaller house builders.
History has told us that purely relying on a plan led system and involving the local community more and more on planning applications actually slows down the delivery of housing and does not increase it. The NPPF proposal will not help speed up the delivery of housing, it will only prevent larger schemes from coming forward and we believe has been put in place to appease the The Conservative Party backbenchers. Despite the constant meddling in the planning system, Webb Developments has been contacted by landowners, house builders and promoters in connection with promoting land. These companies see beyond the short term politics. Housebuilding has traditionally been the corner stone of the UK economy and companies involved with delivering housing know there is a shortage of housing within the UK. There is still a need to bring land forward. Land will still need promoting and Webb Developments is happy to discuss your requirements. Please contact us to see what we can do for you.