The Localism Act 2011, s 122 allows for development order changes to bring in the requirement to undertake consultations before making certain planning applications. Some consultation on this took place in early 2011, but I understand from a conversation with CLG this morning that we will shortly be seeing a further consultation and the draft regulations which accompany that. This will tell us more on the proposals for types of development likely to be affected, the level of consultation needed and whether collaboration on design will be part of the requirements. S 122 also allows for a development order to require applicants to prepare a statement setting out how they propose to comply and the section itself requires account to be taken of consultation responses received in the sense of considering whether to make any changes as a result.
The likely target date for commencement is 1 October 2012. The provisions will not be retrospective (in the sense of applying to applications already in by that date) and CLG is alive to the possibility of concerns around possibly having to retrofit required consultation into pre-application work for applications which may not be submitted until after the October start date (where some consultation may have taken place - but may not satisfy the new and yet to be published requirements).