Reactions to the planning reform consultation

Owen Michaelson

The Government has launched a consultation into changes to the country’s planning policy, which Boris Johnson has described as “radical reform unlike anything we have seen since the Second World War.”

In his Foreword to Planning For The Future, the Prime Minster stats the reforms seek to deliver “the homes we need in the places we want to live at prices we can afford, so that all of us are free to live where we can connect our talents with opportunity.”

The consultation which is open until the beginning of October will take feedback from stakeholders before any reforms are implemented. But what have the reactions to the proposals so far?

Owen Michaelson, Chief Executive of Harworth Group, one of the largest land and property regeneration companies in the UK, said the group “strongly supports any suggested reforms that accelerate building on brownfield land and for the Government to use its existing powers to ensure every area has a deliverable local plan in place; we think this is essential to deliver the sheer number of new homes that the UK needs to build.”

He added that “leading development companies are already meeting the challenge that the Secretary of State has thrown down, particularly in relation to the design of new developments through a more considered approach to placemaking. Whilst we’ll appropriately respond to the consultation, we’ll keep on delivering high-quality new places for people to live and work as a matter of course and we urge others across the industry to do the same.”

Tim Waring, Chair of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce’s Leeds Property Forum said, “Today’s announcements on reforming planning show a very clear ambition by this Government to change the planning system, and the Chamber shares the general view that some aspects of it has passed its “best before date”. We welcome the consultation on a new system, although which aspects of the reforms will be taken forward will not be clear for some time and the detail of how the reforms may work is currently lacking at this stage.

“The Chamber supports the Governments ambitions of modernising the planning system and ensuring that development needed to level up the Region with the rest of the UK are not hindered by unnecessary and time consuming red tape, and we will be engaging in this consultation to ensure the Region’s interests are heard”.

Amanda Beresford, President of Leeds Chamber and chair of the Chamber’s planning group said, “The general intention of the Government’s proposals – speeding up and simplifying the planning process – is welcomed. However it is important to get the details right, to ensure delivery, and the Chamber will be considering these as they emerge”