Two months ago the government published “Planning for the future“, a Planning White Paper proposing the most radical changes to the English planning system since the Second World War. The proposals have been the subject of much debate across the development industry. With the consultation closing in just over three weeks, developers still have time to consider whether, and how, to respond to the consultation.
Should developers respond?
Developers often decide to leave it to industry bodies to respond to consultations on their behalf and many may choose this route for this consultation as well. However, for these proposals, developers may want to consider whether they should submit an independent response. This is not only because of the enormity of the proposals and the impact that they will have on development in the short as well as the long term, but also because, depending on how the proposals are ultimately implemented, there may be limited opportunity for further public consultation or scrutiny – this may be the one chance that developers have to voice their opinions or concerns about certain elements before they are put into effect. One only has to consider the recent example of how permitted development rights for upwards extensions and demolition of commercial properties for residential development were implemented to see how major change can be introduced through secondary legislation without prior Parliamentary scrutiny.
How should developers respond?
When deciding what to say in response to the consultation questions, many in the industry are sharing their opinions to help ensure that consultation responses are considered and instructive. We have taken our time to review the provisions in detail and have produced a briefing paper to provide an in-depth analysis of the practical implications for clients to inform any response they may have to the consultation. If you are interested in receiving a copy of this briefing, please contact us. We are also running a series of user-friendly and practical round table sessions on the White Paper for our clients. If this would be of interest, please let us know.
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