Documents to download

In his representation to the Backbench Business Committee on 5 July 2022 (PDF), Bob Seely said he would discuss the following topics:

  • The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill
  • The use of homes as holiday lets and the repurposing of primary residences for the Airbnb market
  • Housing targets
  • Incentivising brownfield over greenfield development
  • Protecting designated areas, such as Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs)
  • Enforcement of planning policy

Further information on current planning policy in these areas and proposed changes is set out below and in the briefing paper. It applies only to England as planning is a devolved matter.

Current planning policy

Assessing and meeting local housing need

A Commons Library briefing on calculating housing need in the planning system explains the method used to assess housing need in planning. Another briefing on tackling the under-supply of housing in England covers the role of the planning system in meeting housing need.

Enforcement of planning policy

The Commons Library briefing Planning enforcement in England examines the powers that local authorities have at their disposal to deal with planning breaches.

Incentivising brownfield development and protecting designated areas

The Government’s National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provides a framework against which local plans are drawn up and planning applications are decided. 

The NPPF encourages local planning authorities to make “as much use as possible” of brownfield land. Meanwhile, development in designated areas, such AONBs, should be limited, and local planning authorities should also “normally” refuse development on land within or outside a SSSI.

A Commons Library briefing provides further information on the protection of Green Belt land.

Use of homes as holiday lets

A Commons Library briefing on the growth in short-term lettings (England) examines the growth in short-term lettings and calls for greater regulation of the sector. A constituency casework note discusses whether access to housing can be restricted to local people.

Proposed changes to planning policy

Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill

The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, which has completed its Commons stages and is now at Committee Stage in the House of Lords, would make a number of changes to the planning system. Among other things, it would:

  • introduce National Development Management Policies which would sit alongside local plans
  • introduce a new Infrastructure Levy to replace the current system of developer contributions
  • extend the time limit for enforcement action against unauthorised development
  • introduce, through regulations, a registration scheme for short-term rental properties

A Commons Library briefing provides further information on the clauses in the Bill. A Lords Library briefing provides information on the clauses that were added to the Bill during its passage through the Commons.

Changes to national planning policy

Alongside the proposals in the Bill, the Government said it would make further changes to planning policy. On 6 December 2022, the Secretary of State set out the proposed changes in a written statement, and the Government published a consultation on the revised NPPF on 22 December 2022. The Government has said it would make the following changes:

  • retain a method for calculating local housing need figures but introduce new flexibilities
  • remove the requirement for local authorities with an up-to-date local plan to maintain a five-year land supply for housing
  • making sure protecting the environment is a central consideration in planning

Neither the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill nor the proposed changes to national planning policy would affect the protection of designated areas, such AONBs or SSSIs. The Government said that areas of environmental importance and the Green Belt would continue to be protected in planning.

Documents to download

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