Looking back at 2021

Welcome to 2022! A Happy New Year on behalf of WEA Planning

As we are making resolutions and preparing for the year to come, while waiting for the government’s response to the consultation on the August 2020 “Planning for the Future” white paper it is time to look back at 2021 and ask: What happened in the world of planning in 2021?

In September, with the cabinet re-shuffle, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government became the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and Michael Gove MP replaced Robert Jenricks MP and is the new Secretary of State. 

In July the new National Planning Policy Framework was published (insert link to the gov website). The main changes from the previous version of the Framework include more stringent criteria for the imposition of Article 4 directions; and a National Model Design Code that would have to be taken into account when designing schemes.

In London,  the new London Plan was finally adopted on 2nd March 2021. See our previous blog post on this topic for a detailed look at the main changes (insert link to previous blog post). In short, the new London Plan increased London’s housing targets by 24%, with a new approach to density.

Throughout London, many Local Planning Authorities have been consulting on new Article 4 directions against the new permitted development rights introduced by the government in 2020.

Brent Council adopted an Article 4 preventing the change of use from Use Class E to residential dwelling (Class C3). The article 4 will come into force on 1st August 2022. 

Camden Council is also adopting two article 4 directions to prevent the change of use from office to residential dwelling. These article 4s are to come into force in the summer as well.

They are joined by Hillingdon, RB Kensington and Chelsea, Westminster, Richmond, Kingston who have all adopted or are in the process of adopting similar article 4 directions.

What to expect for 2022? The year started with the publication of the “Levelling-up” White paper on 2nd February. However, the report says nothing new about a potential planning reform. And we are still waiting for the government’s response to the “Planning for the Future” white paper.

WEA Planning will be keeping a close eye on any government announcements regarding the Bill in the coming months.

If you have a site you would like to develop, please give WEA Planning a call or send us an email/contact form to discuss your project.


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