The government’s proposals to reform Britain’s planning laws have been a welcome island of deregulation in a sea of disappointment.
Both coalition partners went into the 2010 election promising a bonfire of regulation, but by February 2011 Ed Davey, the Better Regulation minister, was admitting in the Commons that not much had actually happened.
In that light, the Draft National Planning Policy Framework is genuinely a step in the right direction. It reduces planning policy from an eye-watering 1,000 pages to a perfectly accessible 52 pages. This is no small matter: irrespective of the content of any regulatory framework, a thousand pages is beyond the ability of anybody to read, comprehend and apply, unless they are a professional with the time and resources to devote to the task. 52 pages, by comparison, is easily managed by an amateur who needs to understand what the national planning rules are – which includes very large numbers of people, including very possibly you, if you or one of your neighbours decides they want to build an extension or develop a piece of land.
But the government should go further….
…and if you want to read further, please visit the Adam Smith Institute website, where you may also leave comments.