Today the government has published a consultation document, outlining its proposals to reform the planning system.
You can read the consultation document here.
The County Councils Network will respond in full in due course, and has published its on-the-day response below:
Cllr David Williams, chairman of the County Councils Network, said:
“For the unitary councils in our membership, any loss of local decision making and communities’ voices in shaping their areas for extra freedoms for developers would be concerning. We will be analysing ‘zoning’ proposals and changes to Local Plans in more detail in over the coming days.
“In two-tier areas we have long argued for county councils to be given a more enhanced role within the system. The government’s consultation document outlines the need to improve spatial planning across local authority boundaries, and it can fulfil its aims of building quicker, better, and with the right infrastructure by re-introducing strategic planning over county areas and dramatically improving the duty to cooperate.
“The County Councils Network has long argued for developer contribution reforms as its member authorities face huge infrastructure funding gaps over the coming decade, hampering their ‘levelling-up’ efforts. Any proposals that examine why the current system is not working is welcome, but it is imperative that any replacement ensures that infrastructure funding reaches upper-tier councils in counties who have the powers to re-shape areas so they work best for current and new communities, alongside ensuring that there are strict affordable housing targets for developers and high standards of housing.”