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New planning laws ‘will boost construction in UK’

The UK’s new planning framework will be a “breath of fresh air” to the construction industry and a major contributor to “getting Britain building the homes the next generation needs”, according to planning minister Greg Clark.

Mr Clark told H&V News the National Planning Policy Framework, launched last week, offered the opportunity for developers and “canny investors” to create developments that contribute positively to the community.

He said: “I hope they will find it a breath of fresh air. It clears away a lot of the bureaucracy and the excessive verbiage that I think has plagued the planning system.

“It makes for a very clear approach that says we should be regarding development as positive if it’s sustainable.”

Mr Clark said the “penny has dropped” over the need for developers and construction firms to work “with communities rather than against them”.

Housebuilders and developers have welcomed the document but cautioned that any uplift in output would be tempered by local authorities’ implementation of the new rules.

Transitional arrangements will see local authorities with a post 2004 local plan that is broadly in line with the NPPF given 12 months to get up to date.

Local authorities with no up-to-date plan will be subject to the NPPF immediately.

Responding to concerns about local authorities’ vagueness about requirements for housing, Mr Clark pointed to the rules on land supply, where local authorities with a good track record must earmark a five-year supply, plus 5 per cent. Other authorities must earmark a five-year supply plus 20 per cent.