Yesterday’s Autumn Statement was relatively quiet in relation to planning – but it is still likely to be a busy run up to the festive season for practitioners.
Under the heading of ‘Productivity’ the Chancellor promised a National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) with £7.2bn for new homes and £2.6bn for UK transport networks. There was also an opaque reference to promoting “a more flexible planning system” and additional support to “accelerate new housing supply”.
In terms of housing a new Housing Infrastructure Fund will be created, allocated to local government bodies “on a competitive basis” and aimed at delivering 100,000 new homes and there will be relaxations on grant funding to help provide more affordable homes.
More locally, the government said that it welcomed the National Infrastructure Commission’s (NIC) interim report on the Cambridge-Milton Keynes-Oxford growth corridor and accepted the recommendation for an Oxford-Cambridge expressway, with a range of delivery models in mind including the creation of a development corporation.
The most significant changes are clearly yet to come. The Housing White Paper is due to be published “shortly”, possibly in parallel with a newly reviewed National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), government responses to the Local Plan Expert Group report and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) review. And we are still waiting for draft regulations on Permissions in Principle and Starter Homes...