It's Autumn Statement day so there must be something about planning. Well there is in the form of an interesting set of measures (not all of them new ideas of course) under a heading of planning reforms largely to ensure a greater supply of housing.

One which struck me as very useful is the proposal to have an automatic approval of a condition discharge where the local planning authority is late in dealing with the application. So much delay is caused by this, it is suprising that nothing has been done before.

One which will grab more headlines will be the proposal to cut New Homes Bonus payments where local authorities refuse planning permission but the scheme succeeds on appeal. Whereas I can see what this is aimed at, it is the case that local authority planning departments are already having to cope with limited resources. Where the LPA loses a case on appeal, but where the refusal was against officer advice, I am not convinced that reducing resources further will necessarily improve decision making. In my experience, members can, and do, make decisions they cannot defend on appeal - even where they are advised of costs consequences. So I am not sure cutting NHB will be much of a threat.

There is also a proposal to require the production of a local plan. A good move  - but not a quick fix.

Finally, there is a slightly odd plan to " develop a pilot passing a share of the benefits of development directly to individual households" . Does that mean a payment from CIL directly to homes affected by development? Who knows!