Government planning reforms aim to cut costs and red tape

The confirmation of reforms to the planning system, consulted on last year and recommended in the Killian Pretty Review, will remove 10,000 full planning applications from the system and allow industrial premises, offices, shops and schools to quickly and easily undertake minor developments without the need for planning permission – saving both time and money.

Shops will now be able to extend their floor space up to 50 square metres without the need to apply for planning permission and schools, hospitals and universities will be able to build new facilities.  These extensions will still be subject to certain caveats to avoid any negative impacts on neighboring properties and the environment. 

These changes form a series of updates in response to the Killian Pretty Review, which when fully introduced will save up to £180m a year for developers.

John Healey said:

"Taking simpler applications out of the planning system will help councils process major applications faster, and save businesses up to £43million a year. This is in addition to over £120m worth of savings from cutting the amount of information required in planning applications and making planning permissions more flexible. This will give businesses a much needed helping hand during the economic recovery.

"I am also determined to see more affordable homes both to support first time buyers and to reduce the pressure on waiting lists for council homes. The extra funding is a direct incentive for councils to plan and give the go-ahead to good quality local homes in their area. Supplying land for housing is crucial to make sure as many homes as possible are built to help keep the country on the road to recovery."

The funding from the Housing and Planning Delivery Grant (HPDG) will help councils to work with partners in the public and private sector to ensure that new homes are built where families need them. It supplements mainstream funding and councils can choose how to spend it locally.

Last year councils received £100m. The allocations confirmed today are for the second year of the three-year grant for councils that have identified at least five years worth of suitable sites ready for housing and a further ten years worth for future development.

The average grant councils will receive is approximately £370,000, paid to 349 authorities. Councils receiving the grant have shown progress on:

• continuing to provide suitable land for development over future years, particularly as the housing market recovers from current economic challenges;

• providing the local plans necessary to deliver the needed homes;

• carrying out a strategic assessment of their housing market; and

• processing planning applications quickly

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