I mentioned a report I had read the other day of Nick Boles speaking at an NHBC event. One of the Planning Minister’s often repeated themes is really good quality design for new housing. Apparently, many of his favourite developments meet the Building for Life standard. Noteworthy was the comment that officials in his department have been asked to explore whether planning procedures might be streamlined for developers who meet the standard. He is quoted as saying: “Is there a bit of the planning process that we could accelerate if you do Building for Life?” Apparently, he was then keen to stress that no Government resources are available to incentivise the use of the standard.
Ever cash-strapped local planning authorities may resist the introduction of new “simplification” procedures, which will be for them to implement and manage, to streamline applications which are deemed compliant, as they may well argue that the standards promoted by Building for Life should ordinarily be incorporated in any well-designed new housing development to meet planning approval.