The reforms carry new opportunities for developers and landowners where projects that promise sustainable economic growth will be supported.
Where there has previously been resistance to planning projects, NIMBYS are now being persuaded of the significant financial advantages being offered in the form of both the New Homes Bonus and the Business Increase Bonus.
In addition to the financial incentives, the White Paper also examines how buy-in from local communities can be achieved through greater participation and control in plan making. The introduction of Neighbourhood Plans will provide a vehicle for local communities to shape development in their areas but the plans must reflect the overall national presumption in favour of sustainable development.
Lee Scott of Smiths Gore’s Planning Team said: "Previously we have had to work extremely hard to promote development in some of the most protected parts of the country but we are now starting to see a resurgence of positive local interest in development.
"Local communities are beginning to wake up to the possibilities and are looking at ways in which they can influence more closely what gets built in their communities – and I think this is exciting for many of them. This means that we are seeing opportunities that we would never have hoped for under the old ‘planner knows best’ system."
The Local Growth White Paper is not about development cutting across huge swathes of the countryside, but taking a considered and long-term strategic view of development that will rebalance the power of the economy.
Scott said: "We are working with a number of landowners who have started to open a dialogue directly with communities – and we have been surprised how receptive people are to development opportunities – provided it is high quality, well considered and proportionate – in other words organic."
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