The OVA Responds to Planning Consultations

Date posted: 
3rd Nov 2020

The government is proposing very significant, and controversial, changes to the current planning system for housing development. 

There have been two public consultations, both similar in content, and the OVA has responded to both of them. 

The first was called ‘Changes to the Current Planning System’ and consisted of four main proposals:

  • changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need
  • securing of First Homes through developer contributions in the short term until the transition to a new system
  • supporting small and medium-sized builders by temporarily lifting the small sites threshold below which developers do not need to contribute to affordable housing
  • extending the current Permission in Principle to major development

See the OVA's response here


The second consultation was for the ‘Planning for the Future White Paper’ and consisted of five main areas:

  • Streamline the planning process in England by:
  1. Simplifying the role of Local Plans, focusing on three land categories – Growth areas suitable for substantial development, and where outline approval for development would be automatic; Renewal areas suitable for some development, such as gentle densification; and Protected areas where development is restricted.
  2. Setting out general development management policies nationally with Local Plans setting clear local rules.
  • A digital-first planning process. 
  1. Local Authorities are to be provided with support to develop effective civic engagement and decision-making processes.
  • A new focus on design and sustainability, including the introduction of a simpler framework for assessing environmental impacts.
  • Improve infrastructure delivery. The Community Infrastructure Levy and the current system of planning obligations are proposed to be reformed as a single nationally set, value-based flat rate charge 
  • Make more land available for the homes and development people and communities need, through a new nationally determined, binding housing requirement that local planning authorities would have to deliver through their Local Plans.

 See the OVA's response here


The OVA responses have drawn heavily on ideas and research provided by: Civic Voice and CPRE Devon (the OVA is affiliated to both of these groups); and the extensive briefing papers provided to EDDC councillors by Planning Officers. The EDDC responses were agreed by cross-party support.