There has been a fair amount of publicity about this Bill already, but in advance of its second reading tomorrow, we thought we’d highlight its main provisions insofar as it relates to the planning system:

  • an option (for the applicant) to make a planning application and any related listed building consent or hazardous substances consent application directly to the Secretary of State if the authority which would normally determine the application has been ‘designated’ in relation to this provision. The Secretary of State is expected to “designate” LPAs that have a record of very poor performance.
  • a restriction on requests for information in connection with planning applications to those which are reasonable having regard in particular to the nature and scale of the proposed development and are likely to be a material consideration in the determination of the application
  • new provisions relating to the modification and discharge of affordable housing requirements in s106 obligations by way of application to the planning authority, based on economic viability or other grounds
  • amendments to the procedure for the stopping up or diversion of highways and public paths to allow this to commence before planning permission has been granted

The Government is hoping that the above provisions kick start development so it will be interesting to see how this will operate in practice.

With such a deluge of changes to planning law, we’ll be posting on this topic soon so watch this space!