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Labour abandons proposals to reform planning rules

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Labour abandons proposals to reform planning rules

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Development, Regulation

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The Labour Party has abandoned plans to reform the National Planning Policy Framework.

The coalition's scheme has upset some communities in England, which perceive the NPPF as a device for developers to push through new housing against their wishes.

Hillary Benn MP broke the news at a construction conference yesterday, reneging on last year's pledge to abolish the NPPF.

The shadow local government secretary said a future Labour administration wouldn't change the policy because "I think the sector wants some certainty and I think that is very important".

Rather, Labour would set it sights on tackling 'land-banking' by major developers, the MP said.

Benn explained: “We would not change that basic structure but we are looking at through Sir Michael Lyons’ commission is how can we make sure that the sites are that are ‘permissioned’ are the ones where the building gets on and delivers.”

Benn explained that Labour would also focus on getting more new housing built on brownfield sites.

He added: “We have always made it clear that there are some specific changes we want to make to the planning system to strengthen the brownfield policy – after all if there are brownfield sites that can be built upon that’s where as much housing as possible should go – and to ensure that all councils are making a proper assessment of housing need."

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