Government consultation to reform planning system is welcomed

Government consultation to reform planning system is welcomed

Managing Director, Phil Holding, at Colchester-based Horizon Construction, has welcomed the latest Government consultation to reform the current planning system for property development.

With the economic impact of COVID-19 across all sectors of the UK economy, construction firms are challenged with nervous investors which has translated into delayed projects and fewer new business enquiries.  Confidence in demand and saleability are key factors, especially within residential construction.

The Government has made a number of recent pledges to increase construction activity with the hope to stimulate confidence and assist with economic growth.  The latest initiative, announced on 6 August, is a consultation into reforming the planning system.  For more information, see press release “Launch of Planning for the future consultation to reform the planning system” [link to https://www.gov.uk/government/news/launch-of-planning-for-the-future-consultation-to-reform-the-planning-system].

Phil Holding, Managing Director, at Horizon Construction said: “The process of planning consent within the construction arena is a well discussed and often cursed subject for our clients.  The Government’s proposal represents a complete overhaul and reform of the outdated planning system and goes a significant way to addressing problematic areas.

“The current system can usually be a long-drawn-out process, causing frequent frustrations, project delays and sometimes the cancellation of projects; these knock-on effects can cause substantial operational problems for small to medium sized firms involved in construction.

“Speeding up and simplifying the process will, without doubt, give more certainty and confidence for all parties involved in construction projects.  Often once planning has been agreed, the various developer contributions will slow the construction commencement, and again the simplification of this process which involves a simpler levy-based contribution is likely to have a significant positive effect.

“Another improved area is the zoning of land in local plans prior to planning applications. Traditionally another lengthy and arduous process, speeding this up from as long as 7 years to 30 months will be well received by developers and housebuilders alike.

“It is great to see further steps being taken by the Government to encourage growth in our industry and a return of economic stability to the economy as a whole.”