Important changes to planning law just around the corner

On behalf of Attwaters Jameson Hill posted in Planning Law on Friday, February 9th, 2018

On 23 February 2018, new legislation will take effect which will enable developers to purchase ‘development-ready’ land from local authorities, as authorities will be able to ‘pass-on’ the planning permission required in order to build on such land in instances where they have already previously had it granted for themselves.

The landmark changes, which come as part of the Town and Country Planning General (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2018, will effectively give local authorities the power to ‘sell-on’ land to developers with such planning permission included as part of the deal.

This represents a significant foray from existing legislation, which requires property developers to file a new planning application for any proposed changes or developments to any land acquired from a local authority. This is true even in instances where the authority has previously applied for this permission and had it granted – as the law states that any such permission is ‘personal’ to the authority.

Under the new changes, the existing rules will be repealed – a move which will prove beneficial for both developers and local authorities alike.

Local authorities will benefit as the new rules will enable authorities all across the country to make and grant any planning applications themselves – a luxury which has previously only applied to London Boroughs and Urban Development Corporations (UDCs).

Meanwhile, developers will benefit as planning permissions granted by local authorities will no longer remain ‘personal’ to authorities, meaning that developers who acquire their land can push ahead with planning proposals without having to file a fresh application first.

The good news, which follows a long-running consultation into the proposed changes, which attracted 712 responses, was confirmed in a consultation response document published by the Government earlier this month.

The document, entitled Local authority development – effect of planning permission, can be accessed here.


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