Public Consultation in relation to Town and Country Planning Act Amendments, Definition of Development Order & Registered Building Regulations

Closed 27 Oct 2023

Opened 4 Aug 2023


As part of the Built Environment Reform Programme and to facilitate the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s (DEFA) core functions (Registered Buildings) changes are proposed to the Town and Country Planning Act 1999 (“The Planning Act”).  The changes will:

  • provide clarity around the definition of development which will mean better understanding for building owners on what can and can’t be done without planning approval (these changes, together with planned secondary legislation, will provide an opportunity to ensure very minor works can be excluded from needing approval);
  • remove the requirement for concurrent planning and registered building applications for the demolition of unregistered buildings in Conservation Areas which will streamline the administration of the planning process both for applicants and the Department;
  • ensure routine maintenance works to roads and watercourses do not require planning approval;
  • introduce enabling powers for the potential introduction of fees (through secondary legislation) in relation to discretionary services, such as the provision of pre-application advice;
  • clarify the scope of Registrations for historic buildings to allow these to be amended and to allow for exclusions (having clearer and more targeted controls will remove unnecessary restrictions for owners of such buildings on making some types of changes) and make changes to the appeals process to simplify and streamline it;
  • improve and future proof the provisions for Permitted Development Orders; and
  • extend the current five year time limit for the implementation of Comprehensive Treatment Areas to 10 years as a pragmatic measure to allow more time for consideration of options.

The above will be supported by DEFA secondary legislation in relation to:

  • the definition of development;
  • updated Registered Buildings Regulations; and
  • (potentially) fees order for discretionary services.

Why are these changes being made?

The Built Environment Reform Programme (BERP) was launched in July 2022 and refreshed in May 2023.  It is a package of measures including (but not limited to) improvements to the planning system to facilitate delivery of the Island Plan and Economic Strategy, including the following key objectives of the Island Plan:

  • 2 key Brownfield sites developed using substantial private sector leverage (whilst the metric within the Island Plan is key sites, the programme should aim to incentivise and unlock as much development as possible); and
  • an additional 1,000 additional homes occupied

The BERP is a two year programme of work set out to develop commitments in Our Island Plan to build great communities.  It is overseen by the DEFA but is a joint programme also being delivered by the CABO and the Department for Enterprise (DfE).  The legislative changes proposed in this consultation will contribute to the delivery of the programme.

The process for the Registration of historic buildings and dealing with proposals to undertake works to them is a core function of DEFA and although not specifically within BERP, ensuring this process is fit for purpose will contribute to the overall programme as well as the Island Plan emphasis on productivity and delivery.

To help those wishing to respond to the consultation, a copy of the draft Bill and a Keeling Document which shows the changes in the context of the existing wording with the Town and Country Planning Act 1999 are available to download.

What happens next?

The consultation results will be considered and any necessary amendments made to the Town and County Planning Amendment Bill.  It is envisaged the Bill will enter Tynwald branches in early 2024.  The secondary legislation will be produced, informed by the consultation results, and drafts consulted on in 2024.  It is envisaged that these could be in force before the end of 2024.

This consultation is anonymous. Your response will published as part of a larger summary response document.

If you submit a response, by clicking 'Submit Response' you will give us permission to analyse and include your response in our results. After you click Submit, you will no longer be able to go back and change any of your answers. However, there is an option for you to provide an email address and if you do provide this it will only be used to send a receipt and a link to a PDF copy of your response.

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