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Planning Permission: Braintree

Question for Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

UIN 156416, tabled on 21 June 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, if he will bring forward more legislative proposals to (a) protect local communities from the effect of off-Local Plan developments and (b) facilitate development sites to be developed in accordance with a (i) Local Plan; and (ii) Neighbourhood Plan.

Answered on

29 June 2018

An up-to-date Local Plan prepared in consultation with local people, and a robust five-year housing land supply, are the best protections for communities against speculative development.

The revised draft National Planning Policy Framework was clear that where a planning application conflicts with an up-to-date development plan (including any neighbourhood plans that have been brought into force) permission should not usually be granted.

We have ensured greater protection for neighbourhood plans where the local planning authority lack a five year supply of housing sites and their plan is not considered up to date. These protections were introduced through a Written Ministerial Statement in November 2016 and were included in the draft Framework.

We have also introduced new requirements for Local Plans to be reviewed every five years, to ensure they remain up to date and fit for purpose.

The draft revised Framework also offers local authorities the opportunity to have their five-year housing land supply agreed on an annual basis and fixed for a one-year period. This is intended to offer greater certainty to local authorities and communities on the housing land position and therefore reduce the risk of speculative applications being granted on appeal.

To ensure Local Plans provide enough sites to give a realistic prospect of achieving supply on the ground, they must demonstrate those sites are deliverable and provide a 20 per cent buffer in their supply where there has been significant under-delivery in the past.