The Planning Bill, which will introduce changes to the planning system in England, was announced last week in the Queen’s Speech. Whilst this has arguably been long-awaited, it’s still likely to have a major impact on the whole of the property sector.
The proposed changes will mean that residential properties and infrastructure, such as shops and schools, should be delivered at a much faster pace, compared to the current process which is often deemed as too slow and unnecessarily complex.
The planning system has arguably been after much-needed modernisation for years and I’m delighted that it finally looks set to happen. I am hopeful, along with many in the property sector, that this modernisation will make the process much more efficient and easier for all involved.
The property sector, from developers to agents, will play key roles throughout the new planning process and will undoubtedly work closely within their communities across England to make sure that areas are not over or underdeveloped. The traffic light system means that we’ll see the UK divided up by local councils into areas designated for either growth, protection or renewal. And this traffic light system certainly seems like the most logical way to get the balance right.
Of course, one key aspect that we need to be aware of is that we need to make sure we do not compromise on the quality of housing as this is of course a risk of the more efficient and easier Planning Bill. Whilst this Bill looks to reduce the ‘not in my backyard’ influence, we must still be respectful and understanding of existing communities, which is why I feel that the traffic light system should work so well.
It must also be recognised that there is concern from some that ripping up existing planning regulations could lead to more slum housing built to maximise profit rather than address the real issue of affordable housing. However, sadly there will always be a risk of people taking advantage of all schemes and, as always, we can’t let a few bad landlords tarnish the industry and modernisation for all.
However, on balance, the changes to the Planning Bill are certain to have a real positive impact for all developers and most importantly homebuyers as this looks to be a real catalyst to increase home ownership across the country.
It is likely to also benefit the wider economy as a whole, as we all know just how much of an effect housebuilding and the property market can have in supporting the Treasury.
I am certainly looking forward to the next few months and finding out more details about the planning bill and what positive impact this will have on the property sector and economy in general.
*Vince Courtney is Sales Director at Andrews Property Group