The session will look at some of the key issues arising from the Bill (noting that further consultation is expected on the details):
· The Bill will require every local planning authority to produce a design code for its area, which will have full weight in making decisions on development. What are the resource implications? How is it working so far - reflection on case studies?;
· The Bill also includes new ‘street vote’ powers, which will allow residents on a street to bring forward proposals to extend or redevelop their properties in line with their design preferences. Proposals would be put to a referendum of residents on the street, to determine if they should be given planning permission on whether it should be given planning permission. What are the opportunities and challenges faced by this approach and the potential impact upon delivering high quality development?;
· Heritage protection is also to be enhanced with designated heritage assets, such as registered parks and gardens, World Heritage Sites, protected wreck sites, and registered battlefields to be given the same statutory protection in the planning system as listed buildings and conservation areas. However, policies on issues such as heritage protection, will be set out nationally in the new national development management policy- what are the added benefits and challenges to this approach?; and
· Impacts of digitilisation - The Bill also includes a new power to prescribe the use of specific types of planning data software and require that electronic planning applications comply with “particular technical standards or specifications” – how will this empower/dis-empower communities design? Will it speed up the process? Costs? Deliver better design?