New act passed amending the planning permission system

The Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013 became law on 25 April.

Permitted development rules are being changed to allow ‘uncontentious, small-scale extensions’ to be built without a planning application, subject to consultation with neighbours (see subsequent post).

Information requirements for planning applications are expected to be reasonable having regard to the nature and scale of the proposed development. Councils are only supposed to require details if it is reasonable to think the matter will be a material consideration.

Economically unviable requirements for affordable housing, contained in legal undertakings associated with planning permissions, can now be reconsidered. Guidance on how this will work was published on 26 April.

According to the planning minister, the measures ‘will reform our economy so it can boost investment, growth and jobs by streamlining a lot of confusing and overlapping red tape’. In reality, the surface has barely been scratched.

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