Neil Bromwich comments on the government’s proposed reforms of the planning system

Written on 6 August 2020

Neil Bromwich, planning partner at law firm Osborne Clarke says: “This is a Boris re-wrap of all that has been tried before to simplify and speed up the planning system, which still won’t deliver the target of 300,000 homes per annum.

“There are some positives, although it’s pretty utopian in its ambition. Stripping out bureaucracy to bring forward development quickly, with clear parameters for the type and design for housing and employment is welcome.

“This could be too ambitious, however, and will take time to roll out. There are “snags” that will drag on its success. Environmental and technical matters that tend to slow down sites coming forward will still need to be dealt with – the devil in the detail point.

“The big elephant in the room is that it’s all very well allocating land that’s best for development, but if landowners are going to get less value, they may be reluctant to sell. And the government is silent on whether councils should have wider compulsory purchase powers if the most appropriate development sites are not coming forward.”

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