A blog about planning, planning law and planning policy


The information on this blog is not intended to be advice, legal or otherwise. You should not rely on it and I do not accept liability in connection with it. If you do have a planning law question on which you would like advice, seek legal advice from a suitably qualified solicitor. Specific advice should be sought for specific problems.

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New planning bill

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill was introduced in Parliament yesterday. It is effectively a new planning bill making the changes some of which have been trailed already  this autumn).  It is relatively short, at 28 sections.  I will blog on individual provisions at greater length in due course, but to note now:

1  It allows for applications to be made direct to the Secretary of State where the authority is “designated” by the SofS – presumably one which is underperforming.  I can’t see that consequential amendments needed to allow the s.106 agreement to be made with the Sof S are there.

2  It has provisions for amending s.106 affordable housing requirements if the development is not economically viable because of them.

3  It amends the already complex provisions for review of minerals permissions.  I hope it makes them simpler.

4  It removes the special parliamentary procedure which did apply some applications for development consent for infrastructure projects under the Planning Act 2008.  This problem has been highlighted by the Rookery South development consent which is currently stalled in Parliament having received the go ahead from the Infrastructure Planning Commission (which was ironically its first, last and only decision before it was abolished and transferred to the Planning Inspectorate).

5  It will allow the SofS to direct that certain planning applications are dealt with under the development consent process.

That’s not all of course.  But it should straightaway be noted that the affordable housing changes will come into effect on Royal Assent.

In my last post, I suggested that s.106 should be amended, following the lead of the Welsh Government, and I listed two bills in which this might be done.  The Secretary of State now has his own bill in which he can do this.

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