The Government has launched a consultation on proposals for reforms of the planning system in England following concerns raised by MPs and residents all over the country.
The proposals intend to do the following:
1) Streamline and modernise the planning process,
2) Improve the way local residents are engaged in planning for their area, increasing local involvement,
3) Bring a new focus to design and sustainability, so that homes are beautiful and in keeping with the area,
4) Improve the system so that developers contribute more to infrastructure, and
5) Ensure more land is available for development where it is needed.
Many of the proposals address issues which have been raised with me directly over the years, by local groups such as the lack of focus on design and little incentive for high quality new homes and places.
Our current system is outdated and ineffective as evident here in Uttlesford, which is now once again without an adopted Local Plan, that on average takes 7 years to prepare.
These are radical reforms to address a number of issues. The aim is to make planning simpler, clearer, quicker to navigate and most importantly for us in our constituency, one that makes it harder for developers to dodge their obligations to improve infrastructure. As the local MP I feel this emphasis on infrastructure is vital for our constituency and is something I have continuously pushed for since my election in 2017.
We must ensure new development brings with it the schools, hospitals, surgeries and transport local communities need, while at the same time protecting our local heritage and natural environment.
Many residents will be concerned about what this means for housing numbers and whether we will be asked to build more than what is sustainable for our community. I encourage everyone to engage with the consultation as decisions will be made based on the responses received.
I welcome the fact the government is looking again at planning which has not been working for our area and I will be engaging with the consultation myself as local MP with suggestions on what can be improved in the areas I have most concern.
To view the proposals and find out how to respond to the consultation, visit: www.gov.uk/government/consultations/planning-for-the-future