Latest news

Housing and planning bill sees off opposition in the Lords

Published: Thursday, 31st March 2016

The Government’s flagship Houisng and planning bill has completed its detailed scrutiny in committee by the Lords and is now waiting for its report stage in the Upper Chamber.

Despite much criticism from opposition and cross-bencher peers, all their amendments were ultimately withdrawn. Report stage in the Lords, scheduled for 11 April, will be virtually the last chance for any further changes to be made to the legislation.

So far ministers have shrugged off attempts to shoehorn a new provision in the bill specifically stating that the purpose of planning is “the achievement of long-term sustainable development and place making” and that this would mean “managing the use, development and protection of land and natural resources in a way which enables people and communities to provide for their legitimate social, economic and cultural well-being while sustaining the potential of future generations to meet their own needs”.

The government also resisted proposed changes to the legislation which would have restricted permissions in principle (PiPs) to residential development and proscribed certain types of site from PiP.

Minister Baroness Williams of Trafford insisted: “The National Planning Policy Framework already provides strong protections for the type of sites listed in these amendments, including the green belt, the historic and the natural environment.

“Permission in principle does not change any of these existing protections. Local and national policy has always driven how local decisions are made, and the addition of a new route to obtaining planning permission does not change that. I suggest that setting out centrally what type of land may or may not be granted permission in principle would set an unwelcome precedent.”

View the parliamentary transcript

Roger Milne