The Governments White Paper on Planning

The Government has recently decided on a fundamental overhaul of the planning system, launching a 3 month Public Consultation on 6 August, seeking comments on its outline proposals. Behind this is a desire to see 300,000 houses for purchase to be constructed annually (currently 241,000) with 1 million to be completed by the next general election. Few people with experience of the current system would deny that change is needed. However there is deep concern as to whether this is the right time and also the extent and nature of the proposed changes.

The present system for housing delivery is based on Local Plans which take many years to complete. The proposal is to streamline this process to a maximum of 30 months and use a “zonal system” to determine where development should or should not take place. It is implied there will be more meaningful public input at the Local Plan Stage but less opportunity to object to individual planning applications when they are lodged. There will also be a digitalisation of the planning process with information accessed on mobile devices rather than attached to lampposts and on display in libraries (for larger proposals).

Members of the Society met with our local MP Robbie Moore recently and the new planning proposals formed part of the discussion. He recognised the strength of Addingham Civic Society on planning / environmental issues and agreed that local input was fundamental both at Local Plan Stage and with Neighbourhood Plans which can play a key role locally. 

The Society is currently analysing the proposals and will be responding formally to the Consultation. We have gained a lot of knowledge and experience through input into our Bradford Local Plan and the more recent Neighbourhood Plan. We are well placed to make a constructive and informed response and will keep Members informed of progress and our general conclusions.

Addingham Civic Society