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The Housing and Planning Bill: What it means for local developers

Napthens - November 23rd 2015

The Housing and Planning Bill made its first appearance before the House of Commons last month.  The Bill proposes numerous changes in line with the Government’s bid to address the nationwide housing crisis. Amidst this drive to satisfy the demand for housing, we envisage a welcome change set to benefit local land owners and developers.

The Change

The Bill proposes a mechanism through which ‘permission in principal’ would automatically be granted for certain developments on certain types of land. Developers would then be left with the relatively simpler task of applying for a ‘technical details consent’ – which we suspect would be not too dissimilar to the current ‘reserved matters consent’, following which a full planning permission would be granted.

The exact details of the types of developments and land to which this change would apply are yet to be announced, however, the notes ancillary to the Bill indicate that housing developments on land contained in the Brownfield Register, Development Plan documents and Neighbourhood Plans would primarily take advantage of the change.


Local developers may well discover that the fundamental issue of planning is altered in their favour as the Bill proposes an easier, streamlined planning process. Crucially, the Government’s current intention is to limit the accelerated process to minor housing developments (the creation of fewer than 10 units), a change aptly suited to local land owners and developers looking to take on their next move.

The changes proposed by the Bill are widespread and its impacts are far reaching, especially in relation to the current housing demands. Focusing on the specifics, we can see a degree of Government support on the horizon for local developers. Although the Bill is in its early stages and the developments to which the ‘planning in principal’ scheme will apply are yet to be determined, the current Government drive looks set to benefit developers looking to develop housing estates at a local level.

Napthens acts for numerous developers in Lancashire, Cumbria and the North West. With industry specific and invaluable local knowledge, our specialist teams provide quality advice to support local developers for local growth.