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The Government has set out plans in the Localism Bill to revolutionise the planning process by ‘taking power away from officials and putting it into the hands of those who know most about their neighbourhood - local people themselves'. Alongside this, the Government aims to create the freedom and the incentives for those places that want to grow to do so, and to reap the benefits.
The Localism Bill pursues this ambition, setting out a new neighbourhood planning framework, changes to the Local Development Framework process, the abolition of Regional Strategies, and the introduction of a new ‘duty to co-operate'. The effectiveness and fairness of the new regime will depend not just on these legislative changes, but also on a wider package of changes - including the introduction of the New Homes Bonus, designed to incentivise housing growth, changes to Housing Benefit, and a new National Planning Policy Framework, which will set the key national policy direction for planning.
The aim of this report is to analyse the current planning and housing reform measures and so inform the ongoing debate on the future of planning and housing in England and the implications for housing provision. The report summarises the Coalition Government's current proposals and begins to assess the cumulative impact of these measures.
The TCPA is grateful to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation for its support for this study, and to experts from the public, private and voluntary sectors who have fed into the work.