Planning magazine reports that the past few decades have not been kind to smaller housebuilders, and to address wide-ranging concerns, the government is proposing changes to the planning system; it believes that boosting the number of small builders can help address the UK's housing shortage.
Nicky Linihan, the Planning Officers Society's Housing Delivery Subject Specialist, in a response to a Planning reporter questioned the value of the proposed NPPF alterations. She points out that local planning teams take into account the role of small sites when they prepare local plans and assess five-year housing land supply; the latter includes small site and windfall allowances. Refusal of permission is not usually down to issues over site size, she says.
Linihan believes the changes are unlikely to bring a significant shift in current practice. She warns that a greater emphasis on small sites would require their identification by hard-pressed planning teams. "This could result in the diversion of resources away from local plan development and timely determination of planning applications," she says.