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Planning in 2023


2023 will see the UK taking some major steps forward with planning policy reform. The UK government has announced measures to place local communities at the heart of the planning system as part of the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. The measures aim to build the right homes in the right places with the right infrastructure, ensuring the environment is protected and giving local people a greater say on where new development should be placed.

Housing targets will remain an important part of the planning system and the government will consult on how these can better take account of local density. The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has also asked the Competition and Markets Authority to consider a market study on housebuilding.

The government will also consider new financial penalties for companies failing to deliver housing despite having planning approval and give councils powers to refuse further permission across their area and strengthen Green Belt protections. The government will ensure valued landscapes, such as National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Green Belt, remain protected through robust national and local planning policies. The Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill will continue its passage through Parliament with the 2nd reading due to take place on the 17th January 2023.

There is currently an open consultation on the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill: reforms to national planning policy which began on 22nd December 2022 and closes at the end of the 2nd March 2023. This consultation seeks views on the proposed approach to updating the National Planning Policy Framework in England. It also seeks views on the proposed approach to preparing National Development Management Policies and how national planning policy can be accessed by users. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is seeking comments on any potential impacts on protected groups under the Public Sector Equality Duty. This consultation is limited to England only. The content of the Framework will depend on the government’s proposals for wider changes to the planning system, including the Levelling-up and Regeneration Bill.

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