Reforms in the Housing and Planning Act 2016

AuthorWilliam Webster/Robert Weatherley
Chapter 51

Reforms in the Housing and Planning Act 2016


51.1 The Housing and Planning Act 2016 received Royal Assent on 12 May 2016. It contains a number of important planning reforms in England which are flagged up in this chapter. The main object of the Act is to remove unnecessary obstacles in the planning system to the delivery of new homes. Planning is dealt with in Part 6. The headline changes (with additional details as necessary) are set out below.


51.2 The changes simplify and speed up the neighbourhood planning process in order to support communities that seek to meet local housing and other development needs through neighbourhood planning.


51.3 More flexible powers are given to the Secretary of State to intervene if local plans are not effectively delivered.


51.4 Power is given to the Secretary of State to devolve further powers to the Mayor of London in relation to applications of potential strategic importance.

1Housing and Planning Act 2016 (HPA 2016), ss 139–142.

2HPA 2016, ss 143–148.

3HPA 2016, s 149.

550 Restrictions on the Use of Land


51.5 Power is given to the Secretary of State to require local authorities to hold a register of various types of land, with the intention of creating a register of brownfield land to facilitate unlocking land to build new homes.

51.6 Power is also given enabling ‘permission in principle’ to be granted to suitable housing-led sites identified in the brownfield register and in local and neighbourhood plans, and provides an opportunity for applicants to obtain permission in principle for small sites.


51.7 Provision is made amending the power which enables conditions to be attached to development orders for building operations so that they are consistent with those for a change of use. It enables development orders to require the approval of the LPA or the Secretary of State for any matters related to building operations or the use of land following those building operations. This enables certain aspects of the permitted development right to be delegated to the LPA, so that local conditions and sensitivities can be taken into account.

51.8 Amendments now allow the Secretary of State to designate a local authority for its performance in determining applications for categories of...

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