Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick reveals plans to slash red tape and hand automatic approval to new hospitals and schools in radical shake-up of ‘complex and slow’ planning laws
- ‘Once-in-a-generation’ reform will give automatic planning approval to homes
- Land will be split into three types with some areas earmarked for ‘growth’
- Reforms form the backbone of the Prime Minister’s pledge to ‘build, build, build’
New homes, hospitals, schools and shops are to be given automatic approval across the country under the most radical overhaul of the planning system since the Second World War.
Boris Johnson is planning to revolutionise the process as part of a ‘once-in-a-generation’ reform that will divide the country into three types of land: areas earmarked for ‘growth’, those for ‘renewal’ and others for ‘protection’.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick branded the current system ‘complex and slow’ and said that under the new process, ‘land designated for growth will empower development – new homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices will be allowed automatically’.
‘People can get going,’ he added last night.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick branded the current system ‘complex and slow’ and said that under the new process, ‘land designated for growth will empower development – new homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices will be allowed automatically’
The reforms form the backbone of the Prime Minister’s pledge to ‘build, build, build’ in order to reboot the economy as the country attempts to emerge from lockdown.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph ahead of a consultation to be launched next week, Mr Jenrick also revealed plans for a ‘digital transformation’ that would allow residents to examine plans for their area from online maps, rather than viewing ‘notices on lampposts’.
Mr Jenrick added that the current system used by developers and homeowners to seek permission to build ‘has been a barrier to building homes which are affordable, where families want to raise children and build their lives’.
At the moment, it can take five years for a standard housing development to be shown the green light ‘before a spade is even in the ground’, he said. Mr Jenrick believes this process can be reduced to two years.
He claimed the new reforms would also create thousands of new jobs in construction and architecture, Mr Jenrick also claimed that red tape has delayed the construction of new hospitals and schools, as well as road improvements.
But critics fear that a streamlining of the system may not provide enough opportunity for people to object to developments on their doorstep.
As part of the new system, residents will be asked to offer their opinion about which land should be earmarked for growth, renewal or protection, before councils make their final decision.