Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation comments:
“The UK planning system has needed reform for some time, and the government’s intention to simplify the process has the potential to accelerate the delivery of new homes, and town and city regeneration – much-needed investment into communities across the UK, which will underpin our nation’s post-Covid recovery.
“The proposed reforms would however frontload the system, with more pressure on local authorities to provide leadership, vision and context for investors, developers and their communities. While this is right and vital, local authorities are under pressure like never before with the impact of Covid-19 and they will need significant support and resource to achieve these ambitions set out today – to ensure pace of delivery is equally complemented by quality, where new development will contribute to our country’s economic, social and environmental objectives.
“One of the contradictions in government policy since 2010 is that spending on the English planning system has been cut by 55% – the greatest fall across all council activities – meanwhile housing targets over the same period have increased by 50% to 300,000. These reforms must close this gap.”