Yet more change to the planning system

26 July 2023

Michael Gove Proposals

The Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove has announced a series of changes, initiatives and consultations related to the planning system. (See annoucement in full below)  

He has committed to “to a new era of regeneration, inner-city densification and housing delivery across England, with transformational plans to supply beautiful, safe, decent homes in places with high-growth potential in partnership with local communities”.

Key points include:

  • Regeneration of 20 towns/cities, a particular focus in the near term is a large urban extension to Cambridge..
  • Additional reforms to the planning system will speed up new developments, put power in the hands of local communities to build their own homes, and unlock planning decisions – with a new fund of £24 million to scale up local planning capabilities.
  • Changes to Permitted Development rigit legislation, a consultation has been launched (See Consultation Document Below).
  • Confirmation that the intention is to mandate second staircases in new residential buildings above 18m (roughly 8-9 storieys). 
  • The establishing of a Office for Place in Stoke-on-Trent, designed to lead a design revolution, ensuring beautiful new homes are built according to a simple design code supported by local people. Nicholas Boys Smith has been appointed as the interim chair of this new body.
  • Simplifying Local Plan production, a consultation has been launched on potentrial changes (See Consultation Document Below)..
  • The government confirms that local authorities should continue to develop their local plans, ensuring local people get their say.
  • It also looks as if there will be consideration as to how to capture incresed land value for future development to help fund infrastructure etc.


The planning system has been in a state of change for four years and it is difficult to disentangle the 'political' with an election within 18 months, from a long term strategic approach to planning that the country desperately needs.  


Share this article

Help us make Guildford better

We want our town to be vibrant, attractive and liveable. We support development that brings a sense of place and enhances the best aspects of our town. If such aims can be embraced, we believe Guildford has the chance to lead the way in enabling sensitive and sustainable development.

Pressures for development are increasing. Planning rules are being eased. The Society’s commitment to standing up for Guildford is needed more than ever.

Support Us

Getting involved allows the society to continue its work.   We welcome new members, from every age and background.  Membership provides an opportunity for you to contribute to the continued health of the town and surrounding area, and to meet other people who care about Guildford.