PLANNING NEWS: WHAT’S CURRENT AND NEXT FOR PLANNING POLICY? STEVE QUARTERMAIN, GOVERNMENT CHIEF PLANNER’S VIEW
Steve Quartermain, the Government’s Chief Planner, recently spoke at a Yorkshire Branch RTPI session in Leeds on the subject of policy and development plans. Steve is a former Director of Environmental Services at Hambleton District Council and the Chief Planning Officer at Craven District Council, both North Yorkshire authorities. Mr Quartermain’s key messages at the event were:
- Neighbourhoods Plans are here to stay and Mr Quartermain is currently being asked by Ministers on how they could be further reinforced;
- Local Housing Need (LHN) Method (para 60 of the revised February 2019 NPPF) identifies the minimum number of homes to be expected to be planned for & LPAs must start with the figure and NOT the environmental constraints to derive the figure. More information can be found via this link.
- Alternatives to LHN Method should only be used in exceptional circumstances;
- 5 Year review of plans requirement is now embedded in regulations – Mr Quartermain’s view is that he would be surprised if a local plan does not need amending after 5 years;
- Regarding the deliverability of the Housing Delivery Test – is the plan working? Sanctions are being used on Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) – where 108 of them are currently working on such actions plans;
- The Government has recently appointed a Head of Architecture. Rural Solutions are positive regarding this appointment and hope to see meaningful policy and guidance which is implemented by the LPAs and supported by Planning Inspectorate. For a suitable reference guide regarding this click here to visit the current Building Better Building Beautiful Commission which was launched in November 2018 to report to Secretary of State in December on promotion of better design.
- Emphasis on new planning guidance – there is now new guidance on plan-making, housing needs and housing delivery, build to rent and viability with more to come. To view this in detail please click here.
In conclusion, this recent emphasis on planning reform is rooted in transparency in order to build confidence in the governments aims to support housing delivery and growth.
We thank RTPI Yorkshire for organising such an excellent and informative session and allowing us to be a part of it.
An extract of Mr Quartermain’s Presentation can be viewed via the image on the right.