‘Street votes’ give residents power over beautification projects

Michael Gove MP, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has given his support to the private members Planning (Street Plans) Bill, that will allow residents to encourage the construction of new homes on suburban streets.

Planning permission

The Bill states that where a street plan is confirmed by a local planning authority, planning permission is granted for development on the specified street by that street plan.

Through the first reading in Parliament, the Bill, brought forward by backbench Conservative MP John Penrose, would give residents in England and Wales the power to propose street plans to direct development where a majority of residents have voted for it.

Under the original proposals by the think tank Policy Exchange, a ‘street plan’ submitted to the local council by 20 per cent of residents or ten different properties would trigger a referendum on its adoption. If the plan was confirmed by the local authority, residents would receive automatic planning permission for certain types of development, including potentially new homes or extensions.

According to Policy Exchange, the plan could result in the creation of more than 100,000 extra homes a year for the next 15 years. 

Rules governing how the votes would operate would be set down in regulations, and the next second reading of the Bill is scheduled for 18 March 2022.

It is a cracking private Member’s Bill. We shamelessly want to rip off all the ideas in it and take them for our own. A triple whammy of good news and we are currently making sure it meshes with everything else that we want to do that is beneficial.”

It is rare that we have legislation that combines greater democratic control with the potential for the beautification of our urban and suburban environment and unlocks the potential for the value of individuals’ homes to be enhanced by additional development.

Michael Gove Secretary of State | DLUHC