Last year, the Club consulted with MHCLG on a new planning policy. While the fractious political environment and snap election delayed the final paper, the wait is finally over. Robert Jenrick, Minister for Housing, Communities and Local Government has announced that the paper will be published this spring and has given an insight into it’s key points.
The white paper is primarily focused on planning permission, so while it is not directly addressing listing itself there is still a lot of overlap for owners. Listed buildings need to seek planning permission for many more kinds of work than typical buildings, so owners do stand to gain.
The Minister promised a faster and more computerised application system, which will come as a relief for many owners. Particularly for those making small applications for garden sheds or green houses, a less bureaucratic process will certainly be welcome.
There is also some potential for a more substantial reform of permitted development rights, which listed buildings are presently excluded from. Listed buildings have the consent process already, and asking for planning permission on top of this is simply wasted effort. While we do not believe a full reform will come in this paper, the Minister has offered some indications that permitted development rights may be further relaxed, so it is not impossible this would include for listed buildings.
The Minister also announced moves to ensure buildings were more energy efficient, and to adopt the recommendations from the Building Better Building Beautiful Commission, which may well impact listed buildings too.
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