Planning highlights from 2016 and looking forward to 2017

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There is no way of getting away from it – housing has dominated planning changes and proposed further reform. It represents the focus running through the Government's planning reform proposals over the last year and is set to remain the same in 2017. The political climate is to boost housing supply and move an emerging generation of renters into home ownership. The much anticipated Housing White Paper (Fixing our Broken Housing Market) published in February is no different.

This paper does not deal with the Housing White Paper but looks at the other planning law changes that have occurred in the run up to and during 2016. If you look carefully there have been changes that affect non-residential development but they are less abundant. We also look at what is coming up on the horizon in 2017 - some of which will be derived from matters discussed in the Housing White Paper but also initiatives that are already on the legislative books (most notably in the Neighbourhood Planning Bill) or has been the subject of other consultation by the Government. This paper also sets out some of the practical consequences and developments that have arisen out of Housing & Planning Ministerial Statements and a few changes derived from Court decisions during 2016 and early 2017.