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Autumn Statement – KPPC reaction

November 23, 2023

The Chancellor Jeremy Hunt included measures affecting planning in his Autumn Statement. Here is KPPC managing director Ken Parke’s take on the new policies:

“The reforms announced in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement are a start but there is still an awfully long way to go to make the planning system fit for purpose.

“The £110m of funding for high quality nutrient neutrality mitigation schemes to unlock 40,000 new homes is a drop in the ocean and, as always, lacking in detail. Greater action is desperately needed to tackle this issue.

“Measures to cut the time it takes for all major business planning applications to be granted for businesses by allowing local authorities to recover the full costs if they meet faster timelines is a case of tinkering around the edges. This move may even be counter-productive if it diverts sorely needed resources from other applications, leading to further delays and inefficiencies. Wholesale reform is required for the whole system. Why is this restricted to only certain applications when poor processing time is across all application types? The system is manipulated in any event with misuse of the extension of time provisions.

“A new consultation on legislation to allow any house to be converted into two flats under permitted development rights could be considered a step in the right direction but it is hardly likely to solve the very real housing crisis we face. ”