News

Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017: a push for speedier plan-making and site starts

28 Apr 2017
The Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 has Royal Assent, and several of its provisions have come into force.
 
The Government’s intention is that the Act will reduce the time lag between planning permission being granted and work starting on site, reflected in the provisions regarding planning conditions.  Once the provisions are commenced, the circumstances under which pre-commencement conditions may be imposed without an applicant’s consent, and conditions that are prohibited, will be set out in regulations.
 
The Government also hopes that provisions regarding the preparation of neighbourhood plans and local development documents will lead to the identification of more housing land, and provide greater certainty for communities regarding where future development will be located.
 
The planning related provisions of the Act in force thus far are predominantly those that enable secondary legislation to be prepared. 
 
The Neighbourhood Planning Act 2017 reinforces the Government’s commitment to neighbourhood planning whilst providing significant Secretary of State powers to influence plan-making and control the use of conditions.  The bottom up and top down plan-making measures provide new routes for securing improved development plan coverage, which is encouraging; but they must be adequately resourced.

Jennie Baker, Associate Director

 
For the most part, pro-active discussions regarding conditions to be attached to planning permissions already take place between applicants and local planning authorities, so that the legislation simply reinforces the existing policy tests and best practice.

Daniel Lampard, Senior Director, Head of Thames Valley office

Please see our blog for further details