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Labour’s proposal to grow the UK’s planning system

The Planning team at Lodders summarises the new government’s plans.

Rachel Reeves used her first speech as Chancellor to set out Labour’s plans to put growth at the centre of the planning system by overhauling the current planning regime.

The Labour Party sees this as a crucial pillar to the country’s economic growth. Here, the Planning team at Lodders summarises the new government’s plans.

As part of these proposals, Labour intends to:

  • Unlock new housing by building 1.5 million homes in this term of parliament.
  • Streamline the approval process, particularly for urban brownfield developments using a ‘planning passport’ system and development corporations to ensure schemes can be delivered without delay.
  • Provide Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) with more resources to handle applications.
  • First-time buyers will be offered support by introducing a mortgage guarantee scheme to assist those who can afford monthly repayment but are struggling to save for a deposit.
  • End homelessness by delivering and protecting new social housing.
  • Give priority to energy, particularly wind and solar projects.
  • Change the way ministers use direct intervention powers.
  • Decisions on large projects will be taken at a national level not locally.
  • Prioritise decisions on infrastructure projects which have been ’sitting unresolved’.

What can we expect in the coming months?

  • A consultation on a new growth-focused approach to the planning system before the end of July this year, including reform of the National Planning Policy Framework
  • A letter to LPAs setting out the expectations of them, including the requirement to prioritise brownfield and grey belt land to meet housing targets
  • An end to the effective ban on new onshore wind and consultation on onshore wind falling within the nationally significant infrastructure projects (NSIP) regime once more.
  • Policy intentions will be laid out for critical infrastructure, ahead of updating relevant national policy statements within the year.
  • A Growth Mission Board will be established and focus on reviving the country’s economic growth.
  • A new growth delivery unit will be established at the heart of the treasury.

Reeves recognises that there will be opposition to the changes proposed, stating that “we must acknowledge that trade-offs always exist.”

Help and advice

For advice on how these proposals may affect any of your existing or future planning proposals, please get in touch with Lodders’ expert Planning team who will be happy to help.

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Need more advice?

For help with a legal problem or more information on any of our services at Lodders, please get in touch with our friendly team. You can contact us via the number or email address below, or fill in the form and we will get back to you as quickly as we can.

Samantha Amphlett, senior associate at Lodders, specialising in highways and planning.
Senior Associate

Sam Amphlett