Last edited 19 May 2016

Technical consultation on planning

On 31 July 2014, the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) published a Technical consultation on planning which puts forward a significant range of proposals to change the planning system.

This follows a great number of reforms that have already been introduced since the coalition government came to power in 2010, such as the introduction of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), and provides more detail about proposals set out in the Infrastructure Bill.

Brandon Lewis MP, Minister of State for Housing and Planning said ‘…we are proposing here practical improvements that build on earlier reforms, to help more people benefit and, overall, help us get the development and housing our future growth depends upon.’

  • Section 1 focuses on proposals to make it easier for residents and business to come together to produce a neighbourhood plan or neighbourhood development order, drawing on the experience gained from over 900 neighbourhood areas that have already been designated by local authorities.
  • Section 2 sets out proposals to expand permitted development rights, further reducing red tape and supporting housing and growth. These proposals are intended to help ensure the planning system is proportionate and a planning application is only required where this is genuinely justified.
  • Section 3 seeks views on four proposals to improve the use of planning conditions and enable development to start more quickly on site after planning permission is granted.
  • Section 4 focuses on improving engagement with statutory consultees so they are consulted in a proportionate way on those developments where their input is most valuable.
  • Section 5 outlines proposals to raise the environmental impact assessment screening thresholds for industrial estate and urban development projects which are located outside of defined sensitive areas. Raising the threshold will reduce the number of projects that are not likely to give rise to significant environmental effects that are screened unnecessarily. This is intended to remove unnecessary bureaucracy and reduce both the cost and time taken to get planning permission for these projects.
  • Section 6 sets out proposals for making improvements to the nationally significant infrastructure projects planning regime as identified as part of the 2014 review of the regime. The government is seeking views on proposals to amend regulations for making changes to development consent orders, and to expand the number of non-planning consents which can be included within development consent orders.

This consultation closed on 26 September 2014.

On 31 December, the government has published its response on neighbourhood planning measures in the 2014 technical consultation on planning. This included new measures giving councils just 13 weeks to consider a community’s application to create a neighbourhood area. 8 weeks will be allowed where the neighbourhood follows a parish boundary, and 20 weeks where applications cover an area straddling more than one planning authority. See Neighbourhood planning: government response to consultation (31 December 2014) for more information.


This article contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v2.0 ref, Department for Communities and Local Government published a Technical consultation on planning, 31 July 2014.

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