Langham Homes Limited Greenwood, London Road Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 2AA

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01344 987 501

24 hours a day - 7 days a week

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01344 882 605

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Registered in England
Company No: 07144706

Will new fast-track planning proposals overhaul current outdated and sluggish system?

2 October 2020

A major planning overhaul in England presented to government in August  by Housing Minister Robert Jenrick will allow ‘automatic’ planning permission for new homes, hospitals, schools, offices and shops.  This accelerating of planning permission is “long overdue” according to Tony K. Pidgley, managing director of Windsor-based Langham Homes.

The current system has shown itself to be unfavourable to small businesses like Langham Homes with the proportion of new homebuilding they lead on dropping drastically from 40% 30 years ago to just 12% today.

The landmark changes will transform a system that has long been criticised for being too sluggish in providing housing for families, key workers and young people. Green belt and green areas will continue to be protected with the reforms allowing for more building on brownfield land.

A fast track for beauty will also grant automatic planning permission for “proposals for high quality developments where they reflect local character”.  As a continuation of the Building Better, Building Beautiful commission, developments that comply with local design codes would be guaranteed even faster planning permission.

Housing Minister Robert Jenrick says: “Our reformed system places a higher regard on quality and design than ever before, and draws inspiration from the idea of design codes and pattern books that built Bath, Belgravia and Bournville”

“New developments will be beautiful places, not just collections of buildings.  Good design is the best antidote to local objections on building”.

From Pidgley’s point of view, Langham Homes has been submitting beautiful integrated house designs for the past ten years, many of which can sit in the planning system queue for years.

He says: “Historically the sticking point has always been the slowness and complexity of the planning process and its associated risks, delays and costs.  We are hoping that this will be swiftly addressed within these reforms together with the pressure to build affordable houses”.

Tony K. Pidgley continues “The Government recognises the current planning system can be a disproportionate burden particularly for small and medium sized developers like us and is keen to support this sector which makes an important contribution to providing choice and competition in the housebuilding industry.  The need to build affordable housing can become very restrictive when you are developing smaller sites.  Under these reforms, affordable housing could be delivered by dedicated providers or larger developers who will not face the same restrictions that we do.

We strongly support reform of the planning system and welcome this government’s proposed reforms to increase transparency and help to increase the delivery of affordable homes. With Covid-19 continuing to cast a shadow of uncertainty over the economy, a more flexible planning system will give local authorities and developers scope to deliver the homes needed in the short term whilst laying the groundwork for more sustainable communities for the years to come.”