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Published on March 28th, 2012 | by Robert Bickers
Image © [caption id="attachment_9450" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="House building- copywrite David Wright"][/caption] Earlier this week the coalition government released the revised planning guidelines for England after significant opposition from campaign groups last year. The new legislation should be welcomed as it will both make it easier to build the houses that the country desperately needs and protects the countryside and green spaces that enrich our lives. The previous planning system was not fit for purpose as it made it too difficult, slow and complex to build new houses or change the use of a building when refurbishing it. The 1300 pages of planning guidelines were clearly too long and only the biggest companies with teams of planning lawyers could possibly understand it. The complexity of the old system was a massive waste of time not only for building companies where the planning applications would regularly take longer than the actual build but also for those who opposed developments. Individuals and campaign groups that opposed development had to plough through the same bureaucratic and expensive process in order to put their view to the authorities. The new guidelines of less 100 pages are shorter enough to be manageable for all whilst still being long enough to take into account the nuances of planning. The main reason why these reforms are needed is that they will help to boost house building. Current levels of house construction are at an historic low which leads to property becoming too expensive to both buy and rent. The fact that large proportions of society are spending most of their income on housing costs is one of the most important economic problems our country faces as it limits consumer discretionary spending and raises the cost of housing benefit for the tax payer. Despite the fact that the recession is the primary cause of low levels of house building the old planning system provided additional costs that further deterred house building. The revised regulations should make planning applications quicker which would therefore reduce costs for building companies making taking the risk of building a house more attractive. I would not support any changes to legislation that allowed development at whatever the cost. It essential to combine new developments with proportional improvements in infrastructure and local services. Also it is important to preserve the countryside and open spaces for all of us to enjoy. The legislation as it was first drafted failed to do by not safeguarding greenbelt and national park land and not prioritising building on brown field land as the revised guidelines do. Despite the fact that the new rules will allow more building in rural areas they will still protect the most ecologically important areas. We should welcome the changes to planning regulations as despite not being a complete solution to this country’s housing crisis they will help. All planning regulations have to balance concerns over protecting the countryside with the need to build more houses. I believe that these changes if implemented properly will be the correct balance.

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The new planning rules- a welcome development

House building- copywrite David Wright

Earlier this week the coalition government released the revised planning guidelines for England after significant opposition from campaign groups last year. The new legislation should be welcomed as it will both make it easier to build the houses that the country desperately needs and protects the countryside and green spaces that enrich our lives.

The previous planning system was not fit for purpose as it made it too difficult, slow and complex to build new houses or change the use of a building when refurbishing it. The 1300 pages of planning guidelines were clearly too long and only the biggest companies with teams of planning lawyers could possibly understand it. The complexity of the old system was a massive waste of time not only for building companies where the planning applications would regularly take longer than the actual build but also for those who opposed developments. Individuals and campaign groups that opposed development had to plough through the same bureaucratic and expensive process in order to put their view to the authorities. The new guidelines of less 100 pages are shorter enough to be manageable for all whilst still being long enough to take into account the nuances of planning.

The main reason why these reforms are needed is that they will help to boost house building. Current levels of house construction are at an historic low which leads to property becoming too expensive to both buy and rent. The fact that large proportions of society are spending most of their income on housing costs is one of the most important economic problems our country faces as it limits consumer discretionary spending and raises the cost of housing benefit for the tax payer. Despite the fact that the recession is the primary cause of low levels of house building the old planning system provided additional costs that further deterred house building. The revised regulations should make planning applications quicker which would therefore reduce costs for building companies making taking the risk of building a house more attractive.

I would not support any changes to legislation that allowed development at whatever the cost. It essential to combine new developments with proportional improvements in infrastructure and local services. Also it is important to preserve the countryside and open spaces for all of us to enjoy. The legislation as it was first drafted failed to do by not safeguarding greenbelt and national park land and not prioritising building on brown field land as the revised guidelines do. Despite the fact that the new rules will allow more building in rural areas they will still protect the most ecologically important areas.

We should welcome the changes to planning regulations as despite not being a complete solution to this country’s housing crisis they will help. All planning regulations have to balance concerns over protecting the countryside with the need to build more houses. I believe that these changes if implemented properly will be the correct balance.

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