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New Ministers for Planning and Housing questioned

12 September 2012

The Communities and Local Government Committee will take evidence from the new ministers at Department for Communities and Local Government with responsibility for planning and housing on 15 October

The session will focus on the Ministers’ new responsibilities and the package of proposals announced by the Government on 6 September to boost house-building, jobs and the economy. On that day the Prime Minster, Deputy Prime Minister and the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government set out a package of planning and housing proposals to improve the housing market and boost the wider economy. See statement.

To inform the questions raised during this session the Committee invites stakeholders to submit limited written evidence addressing any of the following topics.

  • How the package of proposed measures will contribute to the Government’s ambition to provide communities with a greater say about development in their area?
  • What the economic and wider impacts—such as on the provision of social housing—will be of the proposed changes to speed up the planning process and to allow revisions to section 106 agreements?
  • What will be the impact on the Planning Inspectorate and local planning authorities of the proposed changes intended to speed up the planning process and to allow section 106 agreements to be re-assessed?
  • What will be the impact of the proposed changes to the rules on permitted development intended to make it easier to undertake home improvements such as house extensions?
  • How the use of Planning Performance Agreements and greater powers to award costs in planning appeals will affect the planning process?
  • How planning authorities should be able to adjust Green Belt land?
  • How the Government’s review of national and local standards should be carried out and what focus should it have?
  • What the impact is of the proposal to get empty commercial buildings into use?
  • Whether the Government’s financial incentives to increase investment in private rented housing provide the most effective solution to delivering housing in this sector?
  • Whether the Government’s proposals to provide easier access to mortgages are feasible and will get people on to, and moving up, the housing ladder?
  • What is the feasibility and what will be the impacts of the Government’s plans to accelerate the delivery of major housing sites?
  • How feasible are the Government’s measures to release surplus public sector land to developers and how might they influence the supply of housing?

The Committee is also interested to hear about the implications for local authorities and for the planning system of the Government’s proposal to make it easier for communications providers to install equipment to provide broadband services. See news release.

Evidence should be submitted in the form of short written memoranda (maximum 2,500 words) no later than 10 am on Friday 28 September 2012 by email to

Notes for Editors:

Submissions of no more than 2000 words are invited until 28 September 2012 

Each submission should be labelled with the subject ‘Planning and Housing Minister’, sent to, attached in Word format (with as little use of colour or logos as possible) and be accompanied by a covering email containing the name and contact details of the individual submitting evidence.

A detailed guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website; it should be noted that written evidence is often published and made available in a report and on the internet.