In response to the housing crisis that has engulfed the UK, most commentators believe that any solution will need to involve large scale housing schemes and new settlements consisting of thousands rather than hundreds of dwellings. The planning system has been singularly unsuccessful in delivering housing development on this scale since the era of the New Towns.
The research presented in this report is intended to take this debate forward, by exploring the option of delivering housing development in a more comprehensive way and on a larger scale, by using the consenting regime available for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIPs) under the Planning Act 2008. Housing has been hitherto excluded from the NSIP regime. Whilst proposals were included in the July 2015 budget to legislate “to allow major infrastructure projects with an element of housing” to be included, housing led schemes remain excluded from the NSIP regime.
This report has been commissioned by Bond Dickinson and planning consultants Quod to explore objectively whether the NSIP approach might be a useful mechanism in principle, the circumstances in which it might be appropriate to include housing, and the potential challenges associated with doing so.