Chancellor has made a number of announcements on planning,
infrastructure, housing, and fiscal measures in the Budget which
will be of interest to planners.
Trudi Elliott, Chief Executive of the RTPI, said: "We asked for
greater certainty on policy. The Government will be producing
technical guidance on shale gas, taking forward the Taylor Review
recommendations and aligning planning with other regulatory
regimes. These are welcome steps in principle and we will be
examining the proposals carefully to ensure that they result in a
more effective planning system.
The Chancellor also indicated that areas will be asked put in
pro-growth planning policies and delivery arrangements as part of
Local Growth Deals and City Deals. We asked for greater freedoms
and flexibilities for pro-growth councils, particularly in respect
of fee setting and we hope that councils take the opportunity to
push for this in their negotiations with Government. We
stress that strategic economic planning needs to be consistent with
the joint strategic planning for housing to be carried out by local
We also encouraged the Chancellor to put the weight of the
Treasury behind the Map for England initiative and for greater
joined up government. We will continue to press Government on these
Whilst we welcome increased infrastructure spending in the
medium-term, we are disappointed that there is no new funding for
Government will produce technical planning guidance on shale gas
by July 2013 to provide clarity around planning for shale gas
during the important exploration phase for the industry. As the
shale gas industry develops the Government will ensure an effective
planning system is in place and by the end of the year will produce
guidance for the industry to ensure the planning system is properly
aligned with the licensing regime and regulatory regimes
principally: health and safety; and environmental protection. The
Government will keep under review whether the largest shale gas
projects should have the option to apply to the major
- publish significantly reduced planning guidance for England by
this summer, in line with Lord Matthew Taylor's recommendations,
providing much needed simplicity and clarity.
- make greater use of information on prices to ensure that
sufficient land is allocated to meet housing and employment
- develop proposals by summer 2013 to ensure that local
communities will benefit from shale gas projects in their
- ask local areas in England to put in place bespoke pro-growth
planning policies and delivery arrangements, as part of new Local
Growth Deals, pursued in response to Lord Heseltine's review, and
through City Deals;
- consult on allowing further flexibilities between use classes
to support change of use from certain agricultural and retail uses
to residential use to increase responsiveness within the English
In addition, DCLG is progressing a public sector land auctions
model and will work with HM Treasury to conduct a feasibility study
into wider use of the model.
The Government will also develop further measures to streamline
the process for planning judicial reviewsin England by summer
The Government will consult on proposals to relax rules
governing changes of use from retail to residential purposes in
Infrastructure planning and delivery
The Government will implement a series of
reforms to effect a step change in its approach to infrastructure
delivery. These reforms include creating an enhanced central cadre
of commercial infrastructure specialists in IUK who will be
deployed into infrastructure projects across government, and the
establishment by the summer of tough new Infrastructure Capacity
Plans to drive forward progress in key government departments.
The Government is committed to ensuring that investors have the
confidence to make long-term decisions on major infrastructure
projects, based on a policy framework that is informed by an
objective and evidence-based assessment of the UK's infrastructure
needs and priorities. The Government will therefore consider
options for making more use of independent expertise in shaping its
From 1 April 2013, "Help to Buy" is availble.
This is a package of measures that will seek to increase the supply
of low-deposit mortgages for credit-worthy households and will seek
to increase the supply of new housing and contribute to economic
The two main elements are "Help to Buy: equity
loan" and "Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee".
Help to Buy: equity loan will be open for the
next three years, providing £3.5 billion of investment in England,
supporting up to 74,000 more home buyers as well as providing a
boost to the construction sector.
Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee will, subject to
the final design, make available up to £12 billion of government
guarantees, sufficient to support £130 billion of high
- Click here for the Budget Statement.
- Click here for the Budget Book (pdf, 3.16MB),
which contains the detailed annoucements.
Click here for the DCLG page on the Budget.