The Local Planning and Housing Bill 2014-15 would stop pre-emptive planning applications undermining emerging Local and Neighbourhood Plans if it entered into law. It proposes that local planning authorities should not be allowed to consider planning applications made during the ‘period of consultation on a Neighbourhood Plan’ if the application would conflict with the contents of the Plan. Only after the Plan is made could the application go forward for consideration, by which time of course, the Neighbourhood Plan would be part of the statutory Development Plan and therefor the application would have a good chance of refusal!
The Bill is presented by Sir William Cash, MP for Stone in Staffordshire. It also includes very radical provisions that would ban greenfield development until local brownfield land is used up, restrict planning permissions to nine months, and control developer land banking. It also includes the strange requirement that ‘a local authority may only consider new planning applications to build housing when there is no housing stock in its area’.
The Bill has achieved its 1st Reading in Parliament. However the Bill’s more extreme proposals will be strongly resisted by the house-building industry, so its highly likely that the whole thing will be rejected. This is a pity as the Bill also calls for regulations to give a more explicit statement as to what constitutes sustainable housing development, and to control the way 5 year housing land supply is calculated. These could be of tremendous help to Neighbourhood and Local Planning.
You can see more here.