A technical consultation on planning has been published by the Department for Communities and Local Government outlining a number proposals to improve the planning system, it was announced on 31st July 2014.
Divided into six sections, the first section outlines proposals making it easier for residents and business to come together to produce a neighbourhood plan, including proposals for the introduction of time-limits on local planning authorities to make decisions on areas to be designated. The second section sets out proposed changes to permitted development rights to reduce planning regulations on businesses, which DCLG hopes will increase their flexibility in adapting existing premises to meet changing demand.
The third section outlines improvement to the use of planning conditions which will enable development to start more quickly. The fourth section outlines important implications for the involvement of statutory consultees in planning matters. Under the outlined proposals, the National Amenity Societies could in future be notified only of Listed Building Consent applications for total or substantial demolition. This section also includes details on referring applications to the Secretary of State and proposed requirements for consulting and notifying English Heritage, while removing English Heritage‘s power of direction in London.
Section five contains details on changes to environment impact assessment in regard to raising the size of thresholds for screening projects, while section six is seeking views on amending regulations for making changes to Development Consent Orders, and also increasing the number of consents and licences that can be included within a Development Consent order.
The consultation is running from the 31st July and will conclude on 26th September 2014. DCLG ask that responses should preferably made online via SurveyMonkey, while responses can also be email to firstname.lastname@example.org using a provided template. CgMS consulting has also published a useful breakdown of the technical planning consultation alongside a small commentary on how it potentially affects the heritage sector.