Earlier this month the Government published the Housing White paper setting out the Government’s plans to reform the housing market and boost the supply of new homes in England. Alongside this, the Government also published the Proposed Changes to National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) (Dec 2015) -Summary of Consultation Responses. Part of the changes proposed were to strengthen planning policy with respect to the use of brownfield sites for housing and where these changes are to be carried through further details can be found Chapter 1 of and the Annex to the Housing White Paper. Generally the proposed changes to the NPPF in relation to brownfield use were viewed positively by consultees, one notable exception was the proposals for development on brownfield land in the Green Belt which was seen as at odds with other aspects of government policy. It is understood that the Goverment will make changes to the NPPF to permit development on such sites if, and only if, the development contributes to the delivery of starter homes and does not lead to substantial harm to the openness of the Green Belt.
There were a number of supporting technical documents which provided the evidence underpinning many of the white paper proposals which can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/housing-white-paper including the Consultation on changes to planning policy and legislation in relation to planning for housing, sustainable development and the environment which ends on 2 May 2017 at 11.45pm. Given these changes are to make improvements to the speed and efficiency of the planning system that affects all of us you may well want to take a look and have your say!