Launch of Planning for the Future white paper consultation

Tuesday 11th of August 2020

The government has set out new plans to overhaul the planning system in England, and reform the way the country builds.

The Planning for the Future consultation proposes reforms of the planning system to streamline and modernise the planning process, bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure, and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed.

The reforms will mean: 

  • Local communities will be consulted from the very beginning of the planning process. By harnessing the latest technology through online maps and data, the whole system will be made more accessible; 
  • Valued green spaces will be protected for future generations by allowing for more building on brownfield land and all new streets to be tree lined;  
  • Much-needed homes will be built quicker by ensuring local housing plans are developed and agreed in 30 months – down from the current 7 years it often takes; 
  • Every area to have a local plan in place - currently only 50% of local areas has an up-to-date plan to build more homes; 
  • The planning process to be overhauled and replaced with a clearer, rules based system. Currently around a third of planning cases that go to appeal are overturned at appeal; 
  • A new simpler national levy to replace the current system of developer contributions which often causes delay; 
  • The creation of a fast-track system for beautiful buildings and establishing local design guidance for developers to build and preserve beautiful communities; and
  • All new homes to be ‘zero carbon ready’, with no new homes delivered under the new system needed to be retrofitted as we achieve our commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

For further information, read the press release in full:

Planning for the future, Housing White Paper in full:

Consultation and how to respond

The consultation will run for 12 weeks until Thursday 29 October.

To find out more on how to respond visit: 

Further information

To listen to Kate Henderson, Chief Executive of National Housing Federation, talking about the proposals, particularly around changes to Section 106, take a listen to her on the BBC World at One programme from last Thursday 6th August. Listen on the BBC Sounds app. Kate starts at about 10 minutes in.