The Government’s new planning reforms: what they could mean for the North West.

6th August 2020, 3:34 pm

Andrew Waugh, head of real estate at Brabners, said:

“This is the biggest shakeup to the planning system we’ve seen in 20 years and should be welcomed, even if it is long overdue. Lockdown forced the planning application process to become digitalised, speeding things up immeasurably by virtue of necessity, and we cannot now go back to the old archaic system.

“The new approach to land classification should, I hope, make development much more focused on what communities need. This could be game changing in places like Rochdale and Ashton where affordable homes near good transport links are becoming harder and harder to come by. As it becomes easier and cheaper to build housing, these smaller towns could become commuter havens for those working in Manchester and Liverpool which would deliver a much-needed injection of consumer spending to high streets across the North West.

“My one concern is that developers have their heads down at the moment, focused on recovery from Covid-19, and won’t take the time to realise the opportunities these planning reforms present. Firms need to completely re-evaluate their property portfolios and see which projects, that were shackled by the previous system, could now be revived.”

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