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Permissions in principle won’t be retrospective

Published: Thursday, 29th October 2015

The Government’s new proposal to grant permission in principle for new homes on land designated in local and neighbourhood plans and the new brownfield registers will not apply retrospectively.

An impact assessment published alongside the Housing and Planning bill has confirmed that the proposals will apply only to site allocations in future plans.

The document, produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government, said that based on the number of applications granted for major development in 2014-15 “the maximum number of sites that could benefit from the proposals could amount to 7,000 a year”.

The impact assessment highlighted that data on brownfield land was “out of date and of poor quality”. The department noted that the most recent data published by DCLG was in 2011 based on local authority returns to the National Land use Database in 2010.

“Since 2010 the number of authorities completing returns has reduced and it is currently estimated to be about 50 per cent” pointed out the document.

The department added: “The absence of robust data has led to assertions by the Campaign for the Protection of rural England and others that brownfield land has the capacity to accommodate over one million homes.

“We consider that to be wildly over optimistic as only a fraction will be suitable for housing. The land may not be suitable or available for development, it may be located in the wrong place or subject to physical and/or environmental constraints.”

The legislation is due its Second Reading in the Commons next week when MPs will have their first chance to debate the measures.

View more information on the Housing and Planning bill

Roger Milne