CLG has written to Chief Planning Officers advising on two development management changes. The first is that from 1 October 2012, the abridged form of application will be available to renew unimplemented planning permissions granted on or before 1 October 2010 (the previous cut off was 1 October 2009). This will allow further time to implement during the current climate. Of course in some areas, CIL will have been adopted, or may be adopted before the renewal application is determined so there will be new issues there to consider and take account of in any s 106 discussions.
The second change is perhaps more interesting. From 1 December 2012, local planning authorities will have to include on decision notices a statement explaining how, in dealing with the application, they have worked proactively and positively in seeking solutions to problems. The letter advising of this change says that in the majority of cases it will be sufficient for the authority to "include a simple statement confirming they have implemented the requirement in the NPPF". I can't help but think that will not go quite far enough - what is needed is "explanation" suggesting that a simple assertion that the NPPF requirement has been met will not suffice.
One of the most likely areas of discussion in many applications will be viability - with much focus on affordable housing. It will be interesting to read the explanations of how authorities have dealt positively and proactively with those issues.