The Tories’ flagship plan has suffered a blow (Image: PA)
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The Government's flagship planning reforms received a blow last night after MPs said they should reconsider plans to designate local areas into three types of development zone.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee warned the proposals to create growth, renewal or protected zones left them "unpersuaded".
They claimed the plans did not contain enough detail and it was unclear whether they will produce a cheaper, quicker or more democratic planning system.
In the biggest shake-up to planning rules in more than 70 years ministers want to simplify planning so that homes and infrastructure can be delivered more quickly across England.
Land designated for new homes, hospitals, schools, shops and offices will get automatic permission for firms to start building.
These types of properties will fall under the "growth" category, meaning work will able to start on the land straight away.
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But the simplification of the rules would make it more difficult for existing homeowners to block new housing schemes.
MPs urged the Government to revisit the proposals – and asked for more information on how the target to build 300,000 homes a year will be reached.
They want councils to have more powers to act where developers are too slow in completing sites they have planning permission for.
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This could include levying full council tax charges on incomplete properties if sufficient progress has not been made within 36 months.
Committee chair Clive Betts said: “The Government’s aim of developing a planning system that enables buildings to be built more quickly and with greater input from local communities is welcome, but it is far from clear how the current proposals will achieve this. The Government’s three areas proposal needs to be reconsidered."
He added: "We also highlight the need the need for the public to still be able to comment on individual planning proposals – in addition to engaging with local plans."