To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what plans he has to amend planning regulations and environment protections to stimulate economic activity; and steps he will take to ensure that those changes do not undermine environmental aims set out in (a) the 25-Year Environment Plan, (b) the Environment Bill, (c) the Agriculture Bill and (d) net zero legislation.
29 June 2020
The planning system has a vital role to play in enabling the delivery of housing and economic growth that will support the United Kingdom’s economic recovery. In March, the Government signalled its intention to modernise our planning system, ensuring it supports the delivery of homes that local people need and creates more beautiful and greener communities. Since then, we have developed a number of planning regulation easements to support businesses to operate through COVID-19. These include laying SIs to enable restaurants, cafes and pubs to offer a takeaway and delivery service and removing specific publicity requirements for planning application. In addition, on 24 June we laid an SI which allows up to two storeys to be added to an existing purpose-built free standing block of flats, of three storeys or more, to construct new homes. The right is subject to a maximum height limit for the newly extended building of 30 metres. We are continuing to work across government to investigate options for broader regulatory reform to support sustainable economic growth and renewal.