The future of the planning system in England Contents



1 Our current planning system

Our inquiry

Attitudes to the current planning system

The Government’s proposed reforms

2 The Government’s three areas proposal

Growth areas

Renewal areas

Protected areas

3 Local Plans

Views on current Local Plans

Reforms to Local Plans

The role of statutory consultees

A timeframe for Local Plans

The Minister’s views

Neighbourhood planning

Strategic infrastructure and the duty to cooperate

What should replace the duty to cooperate?

4 Public engagement

Current rates of public engagement

The Government’s proposed reforms

Planning and the legal system


5 The housing formula

The current situation

The Government’s initial proposal

Do we need a standard method?

Views of the Government’s proposed formula

The Government’s revised formula

Opinions on the revised formula

6 How to deliver new homes

The challenge

Views about the housing target

Build out

Speeding up build out rates

Encouraging small builders

Specialist, affordable and social housing

First Homes

Brownfield sites

Permitted Development Rights

7 Omissions


The Minister’s response

8 Land capture and the funding of infrastructure


The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)


Views of the Government’s reforms

How much revenue would it bring in?

Local versus national rates


At what point should the levy be charged?

Affordable housing

Small sites and rural areas

9 Resources and skills

Need for additional resources

The need for skills

10 Design and beauty

Government proposals

Current situation


Public involvement

A National Design Body

National and Local Design Guides and Codes

11 Green Belt


Support for the Green Belt

The function and purpose of the Green Belt

Should the Green Belt be reviewed?

Metropolitan Open Land

12 Environmental and historical protections


Current protections

Further protections—heritage, science and culture

Further protections—flooding

Further protections—nature and wildlife

Conclusions and recommendations

Appendix 1: Public engagement survey

About the survey

Respondents’ experience with the planning system

Nature and wildlife

Brownfield land

Experiences of the current planning system

Opinions about whether the planning system makes it too easy or too difficult to build

Attitudes towards local authorities and planning departments

Opinions about local housing need

Opinions about national housing need

Government proposals for reform

Affordable and social housing

Other proposed reforms to the current system

Appendix 2: Public engagement event

Details of the event


Is the current planning system fair?

What should be the most important concerns for the planning system?

Will the proposals in the White Paper improve the planning system?

Formal minutes


Published written evidence

List of Reports from the Committee during the current Parliament

Published: 10 June 2021 Site information    Accessibility statement