The role of local residents and developers in the planning system, House of Commons, 12 June 2018

The planning process needs developers, councils and local communities to work together to create effective partnerships. The earlier in the planning process these relationships are built, the more likely it is that positive outcomes will be achieved for local communities from new development.


Key messages

  • The planning process needs developers, councils and local communities to work together to create effective partnerships. The earlier in the planning process these relationships are built, the more likely it is that positive outcomes will be achieved for local communities from new development.
  • Councils are working hard to use planning effectively to deliver the right kind of homes. However, planning departments are severely under-resourced. Taxpayers are subsidising the costs of planning applications by around £200 million a year.i
  • Planning is not a barrier to building. Councils are approving nine in 10 planning applications and last year worked with developers to permission over 350,000 homes, an 11 year high. House builders currently have 423,000 homes with permission that they are still to build.ii
  • We welcomed the opportunity to contribute to the revised draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The revised NPPF must ensure that nationally-prescribed targets for housing do not impact on local community support for development.
  • There are clear benefits to a standardised methodology for assessing housing need. Within this the Government must ensure that the revised NPPF puts a strong emphasis on plan-making involving communities, in order to create attractive, high quality and sustainable places to live.
  • There are a number of changes to the draft revised NPPF and accompanying draft national planning practice guidance that are welcome and well-intentioned. However, through discussions with councils, it has become clear that there are a number of key concerns shared by the sector.
  • A proactive, well-resourced planning system could do far more to deliver the additional homes the country desperately needs. It could also help to deliver them in ways that meet wider national objectives on infrastructure, public health and the environment.

Download the full briefing
The role of local residents and developers in the planning system House of Commons, 12 June 2018