Key changes to the planning regime including a neighbour consultation system for larger household extensions, a new arrangement allowing developers with major schemes to bypass poorly performing planning authorities and the opportunity to renegotiate s106 agreements have all now become law following Royal Assent for the Growth and Infrastructure Act 2013.
Under the Act there will be a three-year ‘window’ when developers will be able to renegotiate section 106 agreements which have made a scheme economically unviable. The Department for Communities and Local Government said it expects this new measure will unblock developments which involve around 75,000 new homes, currently stalled, because the schemes are no longer viable.
Developers will be able to submit planning applications directly to PINS where the relevant local authority has been placed in a ‘special measures’ category because it has consistently failed to consider planning applications on time.
The reforms also contain measure affecting town and village greens. The legislation removes an overlapping consent process from the registration system, The Act also includes measures to simplify the planning system including a limit on the information a local authority can require to be submitted alongside a planning application.
In addition the Act establishes a streamlined regime designed to speed up the roll-out of broadband infrastructure in rural areas.
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said: “The common sense reforms in this Act will make it possible for local businesses to grow and to create the jobs and opportunities people need to get on in life whilst ensuring democratic checks and environmental safeguards remain in place.”
Planning Minister Nick Boles said: “These new laws will reform our economy so it can boost investment, growth and jobs by streamlining a lot of confusing and overlapping red tape that all too often gets in the way of people’s everyday lives.”