Government outlines proposals to overhaul the planning system. Published May 2020

May 11, 2020 1:04 pm Published by

The Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick MP has set out plans to overhaul the UK’s planning system, ahead of the publication of a government white paper on planning, expected later this year.

Mr Jenrick wants to encourage developers to convert disused buildings into homes, build above and around train stations, and to build on brownfield sites.

The Housing Secretary aims to speed up the planning system to allow developers to demolish vacant commercial, industrial and residential buildings and replace them with homes. He also wants empty shops on the high street replaced with housing.

As part of his proposals, Mr Jenrick expects local authorities to update their Local Plans by December 2023 to enable enough homes to be built for local communities.  Those that do not will face government intervention.

The government will also launch a register of brownfield sites and is expected to commit £400 million of state funding to help bring the land back to use.

Robert Jenrick said: “We must think boldly and creatively about the planning system to make it fit for the future, and this is just the first step, so we can deliver the homes communities need and help more young people onto the ladder.”

Randeesh Sandhu, chief executive of Urban Exposure welcomed the plans.  He told Today’s Conveyancer: “We’re really pleased there’s been a focus on innovating the planning process and cash committed to bringing brownfield sites forward for development.”

However shadow housing minister, John Healey MP, told the Financial Times that the government’s plans could lead to “unsuitable buildings turned into slum housing with no planning permission at all.”

James Burgoyne of Brunel Professions says that construction professionals will need to make sure that they fully understand and comply with the new regulations if they are to capture the opportunities and minimise the risks that the changes will bring. “Overall, I expect the reforms to reduce the amount of time it takes developers to get on site. Construction professionals should ensure that they are aware and ready for such shorter programmes,” he added.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s press release announcing the plans has been published on the government’s website. News reports about the plans have been published by the Financial Times, Todays Conveyancer and Mortgage Finance Gazette. is owned by Brunel Professions, which is a leading professional indemnity insurance broker in the UK.  Click here to get a quote or call 0345 450 1074 to speak to a broker.

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This post was written by James Burgoyne

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