As set out in one of the recent series of NLP blogs covering DCLG’s “Housing and Planning Bill Update: technical consultation on implementation of planning changes (and some other measures)
”, the government is currently consulting on development management changes that largely relate to the content of secondary legislation for implementing the planning clauses in the Housing and Planning Bill
One measure proposed is that, in addition to the ‘local financial considerations’ currently taken into account in decision-taking, an officer’s report to committee must estimate the amounts accruing to any local authority via, inter alia, Council Tax, New Homes Bonus, Business Rate revenue, and Section 106, if a development were to proceed.
Despite changes to Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) to make clear that local finance considerations may be cited in planning committee reports, DCLG remains concerned that potential financial benefits are not being fully set out publicly in planning committee reports. The consultation highlights that:
“The potential financial benefits of planning applications are not always set out fully in public during the course of the decision making process, particularly for larger, more significant or controversial applications…This has a negative impact on local transparency and prevents local communities from both understanding the full benefits that development can bring...” (Paragraph 9.1)
In response, The Housing and Planning Bill proposes to place a duty on local planning authorities to ensure that planning reports record details of financial benefits that are likely to accrue to an area as a result of a proposed development.
This reflects the NPPF which is clear that supporting economic growth is a fundamental priority for central government and local authorities.
With this in mind, using NLP’s eVALUATE framework
for assessing the economic benefits of development, we have reviewed the key economic benefits that will result from the 17,000 new homes that NLP secured planning permission for in 2015.
The social benefits of delivering much needed housing are clear and widely publicised. However new housing also delivers significant economic benefits including jobs, additional spending in the local economy and an increase to local authority revenue. It is only right that these are properly considered in the planning balance by the decision-maker.
NLP’s eVALUATE model
accurately calculates and effectively articulates the economic benefits of new development and is an essential tool for fulfilling the Government’s intention of helping communities to understand the full benefits of new development.