This Bill is wending its way through Parliament currently and may be more deleterious to the planning process and hence the built environment than the National Planning Framework. Its proposals include:
- Some major planning applications (nationally significant business and commercial projects) will be able to be submitted directly to the Secretary of State, where Local Planning Authorities have a very poor record in deciding applications.
- The affordable housing obligations in Section 106 agreements may be re-negotiated where the development is not viable.
- Stopping misuse of town and village green applications to undermine planned development.
- Cutting back the volume of paperwork which applicants have to submit with a planning application.
- Making it easier for local authorities to choose, if they wish, to dispose of surplus land held for planning purpose, with the aim of getting more brownfield land back in use.
- Removal of red tape around the roll-out of superfast broadband.
Our national organisation, Civic Voice, and the CPRE are objecting but there doesn't seem to be the outcry associated with the National Planning Policy Framework when sustained campaigns led by the National Trust succeeded in moderating the original proposals.
We have been asked to write to our local MPs and to the Planning Minister, Nick Boles; this we are doing before Christmas; additionally I have met with Dr Dan Poulter, MP.