Are planning changes leading to poor quality development?

Several important documents and consultations relate to concerns about current and future planning regulations which may lead to poor quality development e.g. conversion of office blocks to sub-standard residential/student housing. If you have an interest in planning, please have a look at the links below (thanks to Bristol’s Neighbourhood Planning Network) and contribute your views to the debate. TRESA understands the need for new development, but the emphasis should be on providing good quality homes and neighbourhoods for the future.

Room to Breathe

The Royal Town Planning Institute has launched a campaign Room to Breathe in response to the new government proposal to extend permitted development rights to allow for commercial buildings to be demolished and rebuilt as housing. The Town and Country Planning Association has launched a new campaign urging the government to reconsider this policy based on its harmful effects. The campaign is being informed by:

  • Bringing together existing evidence across the sector on the outcomes of the policy
  • Gathering more detailed evidence including case studies from councils across the country
  • Creating a coalition of people and organisations to stop the extension of permitted development
  • Campaigning for much tougher national design rules for housing.
  • You are invited to provide examples of poor quality conversions – read more here.

Planning 2020: the Raysford Review of planning in England

“In 2011 … the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, described planning as the ‘enemy of enterprise’.

Since 2010 the English planning system has gone through a period of ‘radical’ reform and deregulation, but the outcomes for communities, the environment and the economy remain uncertain. Local government planning departments are under growing pressure to perform, but many report that they do not have sufficient resources, skills and capacity.

Evidence suggests that Local Plans have downgraded or removed policy on affordable homes, climate change and social inclusion. All of this is contributing to an increasing level of concern over the kinds of places that are being delivered. Are we building the kinds of communities that the nation needs and deserves?” from Raysford Report 2018. 

Read the Raysford Review of planning in England, published in November 2018 here
and the executive summary here

National consultation more planning reforms

This consultation seeks views on planning reforms to make the most effective use of land and speed up the delivery of new homes? see here

The consultation is divided in to four parts:

  • Permitted development rights and use classes (which includes a right to build above high street premises and relaxation of changing between A and B use classes)
  • Disposal of local authority land
  • Canal & River Trust: Draft listed building consent order
  • New town development corporations: Draft compulsory purchase guidance

The proposals are out to public consultation at the moment, with a closing date of 14th January. The link for responses is here.