"Some of the proposals are controversial; others have been a long time in coming": so says David Cameron in making his announcement this morning, which 10 Downing Street describes as "a comprehensive plan to unleash one of the biggest home building programmes this country has seen in a generation".
The full list of measures is set out in the press release. Three stand out for me:
- The removal of affordable housing planning obligations for consented development sites, which are stalled for viability issues – we can foresee a dusting down and updating of site appraisals to show the necessary proof to planning authorities.
- The proposals for “big commercial and residential applications” (how big is big, I wonder?) to be directed to a major infrastructure fast-track procedure.
- “Poor performing” council planning departments may be put into “special measures” and developers will be able to bypass local planning authorities and have their applications decided on by the Planning Inspectorate.
We must now await further announcements of the processes and mechanisms which will be framed to implement these proposals. We will bring you more as these details emerge.