George Osborne Budget 2012

George Osborne Budget 2012 (Source: HM Treasury)

Well after all the speculation on whether he would publish the National Planning Policy Framework on Budget Day, or not (and he hasn’t), what has George Osborne actually said that impacts on town planning and development?

The headline grabber is that Government will radically reform the planning system because it is a “barrier to growth”.

On Tuesday 27th of March the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) will be published. From that date it will come in to force for plan-making and decisions. Support will be available to local planning authorities to help them get their plans up to date.

The NPPF will better support growth, have a “powerful” new presumption in favour of sustainable development, and allow local decisions to be taken on development of brownfield before greenfield sites. Scrapping top down targets.

The Government will work with key statutory consultees to ensure they support sustainable development, in line with the NPPF.

Further measures will be introduced to simply and deregulate the planning system, including amendments to the Use Classes Order and permitted development rights.

Duplication in the consenting regimes for major infrastructure projects will be removed.

The Government has also completed a review of the implementation in England of the Habitats and Wild Birds Directives, to be published on 22 March 2012. Following this review, the Government will reduce unnecessary cost and delay to developers by: setting up a Major Infrastructure and Environment Unit; streamlining guidance; setting clearer standards for evidence; and changing the culture of statutory bodies.

A consultation will take place on planning obligations to allow the reconsideration of obligations agreed prior to April 2012 on sites where development has stalled.

To read the full statement by the Chancellor click here.

We will be looking at some of these issues in more depth in the coming days.

©Kirkwells Town Planners and Sustainable Development Consultants based at the Lancashire Digital Technology Centre in Burnley
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