The Department for Communities and Local Government consulted endure winter on proposals to construct a series of amendments to the NPPF, with a particular focus on boosting the delivery of discounted starter homes for first season buyers and developing small sites, brownfield sites and recent settlements.

Among the proposed changes were: altering the definition of affordable housing to encompass starter homes; allowing neighbourhood plans to allocate small green belt sites for the development of starter homes; and enabling the redevelopment of brownfield sites in the green belt where proposed schemes contribute to the delivery of starter homes.

The then housing and planning minister Brandon Lewis said in March that the proposed changes were likely to be introduced “over the course of the summer”.  However, following a written question endure week, Lewis’s successor Gavin Barwell said the government now expected to publish its response to the consultation “in the autumn”.

Barwell said a response to an April report from the Communities and Local Government Committee should also be expected in the autumn. The committee recommended that the government should tote out a “comprehensive review” of the NPPF, noting that there had not been “sufficient robust, objective and evidence-based monitoring, evaluation or review of the NPPF” since it was introduced in 2012.

The committee’s report (39-sheet / 557 KB PDF) recommended a reconsideration of the government’s starter homes proposals and clarification on how the brownfield register and permission in principle system would operate. The committee’s recommendations also included the introduction of a statutory duty for councils to produce and maintain local plans and further information from the DCLG on how it intended to ensure local plans were delivered by 2017.

Planning expert Melanie Grimshaw of Pinsent Masons, the law firm behind Out-Law.com, said: “Whilst the government may be keen to be seen to press on in the autumn with implementing planning reforms to demonstrate it is “business as usual”, we should expect some slowing of pace in reform following the parliamentary recess. “

“Brexit, and the resultant vary in government administration, has had something of a distraction postpone to DCLG bringing forward solution planning changes,” said Grimshaw. “Parliamentary and civil service focus is inevitably on the implications of Brexit. “

“For any residential developers who wish to push through planning applications without the crave to comply with the starter homes requirement in the Housing and Planning Act 2016, there is now an extended period to do so since secondary legislation dealing with multitudinous of the Act’s provisions (including those relating to starter homes) is yet to be made,” she said.