DCLG chief planner says UK government's appetite for planning changes "is undiminished"

Out-Law News | 17 Sep 2014 | 4:46 pm | 1 min. read

The UK government's chief planner, Steve Quartermain, has indicated that the government intends to introduce further reforms to planning policy, in addition to those proposed in the technical consultation on planning it published in July, according to a report in Planning Magazine.

The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) launched a consultation in July into proposals for a wide range of reforms aimed at simplifying and speeding up the planning process. Among the proposed changes were the alteration of requirements for certain changes of use; new measures to speed up the neighbourhood planning process and the discharge of planning conditions; and amendments to the process for changing development consent orders.

In a speech at Planning Magazine's Planning for Housing conference yesterday, Quartermain reportedly said the "bumper consultation document" was evidence that the government's "appetite for further change is undiminished", and hinted that further reform might be brought forward aside from the issues it covered.

According to the report, Quartermain suggested that steps could be taken to address the lack of housing provision for elderly people. "You will have heard ministers talk quite recently about the approach to housing for an ageing population," said the chief planner. "I can point to the National Planning Policy Framework and say, 'Well it does tell you to plan for a mix of housing uses', but I can then point to on the ground and it isn't actually happening".

Quartermain also announced to the conference that the government would consult on the details of its Right to Build scheme later this year, and that £3.5 million would be set aside to fund an investigation into "how people's attitudes to development can be changed", the report said.