Current Government Consultations - September 2020

A brief summary of current government consultations of potential interest to RSN members. This is not intended as an exhaustive list of all relevant consultations.


This edition includes a suggested RSN draft response in relation to the Changes to the Current Planning System. If you wish to view this draft response please click here
→ Download a printable version of the Government Consultationst here

Changes to the Current Planning System: consultation on changes to planning policy & regulations – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Government states that: “This consultation sets out proposals for measures to improve the effectiveness of the current planning system. The 4 main proposals are:

  • changes to the standard method for assessing local housing need
  • securing of First Homes through developer contributions in the short term until the transition to a new system
  • supporting small and medium-sized builders by temporarily lifting the small sites threshold below which developers do not need to contribute to affordable housing
  • extending the current Permission in Principle to major development”

This consultation closes on 1 October 2020.

Planning for the Future – Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Government states that: “The Planning for the future consultation proposes reforms of the planning system to streamline and modernise the planning process, bring a new focus to design and sustainability, improve the system of developer contributions to infrastructure, and ensure more land is available for development where it is needed.”

This consultation closes on 29 October 2020.

Waste management Plan for England – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Government are seeking views on a revised draft Waste Management Plan for England (the Plan). Under the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011 the Government is required to review the Plan every 6 years. The content of the Plan is determined by the requirements of Schedule 1 to the Waste (England and Wales) Regulations 2011. The Plan provides an analysis of the current waste management situation in England. It is primarily about the quantity of waste there is in England and how that waste is managed. The Plan sets out a summary of current policies, not new policies or announcements. It reflects the policies included in the Government’s Resources and Waste Strategy, published in 2018.

This consultation closes on 15 October 2020.

Developing a tree strategy for England – Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

Government is seeking views across a wide range of topics on trees and forestry to help inform the development of an England tree strategy. They want to know your views on how government can:

  • increase tree planting and woodland creation
  • increase protection for trees and woodland
  • bring more woodland into management
  • maximise trees’ role in supporting the economy
  • engage more people with trees and woodlands

They will use these views to develop the England tree strategy. The strategy will provide a basis to support work on:

  • 25 Year Environment Plan commitments
  • nature recovery
  • clean growth
  • net zero goals to 2050

This consultation closes on 11 September 2020.

Review of The Highway Code to improve road safety for cyclists, pedestrians and horse riders – Department for Transport

This consultation is seeking views on proposed changes to The Highway Code to improve safety for vulnerable road users, particularly the groups of:

  • cyclists
  • pedestrians
  • horse riders

The main alterations to the code being proposed are:

  • introducing a hierarchy of road users which ensures that those road users who can do the greatest harm have the greatest responsibility to reduce the danger or threat they may pose to others
  • clarifying existing rules on pedestrian priority on pavements, to advise that drivers and riders should give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross the road,
  • providing guidance on cyclist priority at junctions to advise drivers to give priority to cyclists at junctions when travelling straight ahead
  • establishing guidance on safe passing distances and speeds when overtaking cyclists and horse riders

This consultation closes on 27 October 2020.

Prepared by Andy Dean, Assistant Director at the Rural Services Network


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