What changes can we expect to see in planning regulations this year and beyond?

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It’s coming up to the midway point in 2017 and there are some exciting developments in the world of planning regulations that are either already underway or that lay ahead. We’re taking a look at a couple of the changes to the planning process that look set to affect the construction industry as a whole.

Residential approvals on the rise in 2017

Government statistics have shown that there has been an increase in the number of residential planning approvals in 2017 when compared to last year. According to the figures, there has been a total of 12,300 residential planning approvals in the first quarter of 2017 which is certainly encouraging.

According to statistics, of the 12,300 approvals, 1,700 (up 17 per cent year on year) were major developments and 10,600 (up by eight per cent) minor developments. With approvals on the rise, and with Fibre Architects’ growing involvement in development projects we’re happy to see this trend continuing to at least somewhat address the housing shortage.

Numbers show that the actual amount of planning applications have also increased. The number of district level planning applications increased by three percent between January and March this year, when compared to this period in 2016. While this may not seem like much, it again represents at least an increasing optimism in the UK housing market.

Raynsford Review

Earlier this year former housing and planning minister, Nick Raynsford, undertook a review of the English planning systems in an attempt to see how it can be made ‘fairer, better resourced and capable of tackling the major challenges which confront the nation’.

The review will look specifically at the shortage of housing and tackling climate change, and making sure that the planning process is able to deliver places that successfully balance the needs of economy, environment and community wellbeing.

The review will gather evidence into 2018, and we will be unlikely to see the results of the findings of this report until at least next year. At Fibre we pride ourselves on having a good knowledge of current planning regulations, and where possible only submitting proposals on behalf of our clients that are likely to achieve planning permission, but this is not always easy. With this review potentially a key factor in overhauling the English planning system we are again very encouraged – watch this space for more updates!

Planning ahead…

With all this considered, this seems like a good time to not only be an architecture firm, but also a housing developer or just someone who has an idea for a home they want to be built! It has long been the view of many that the planning system in England needs to change in order to get the high-quality, well thought-through homes that many people desperately need built. With evidence that more applications are being approved, and with potential changes to the system on the horizon, we’re very excited about what the future holds for residential development especially in the Yorkshire region. We will therefore be sure to keep you updated with all things housing and planning as they develop further.

Chartered Architect | Land & Property Adviser | Sustainable Design | Managing Director at FIBRE Architects Ltd

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