Could Sunak’s promise of new penalties prompt developers to build out permissions more quickly in Waverley?

Tory leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak has proposed a major shake-up of planning rules requiring developers to build on sites with planning permission within a set timeframe or face losing them to councils.

So could ‘Your Waverley’ pick up the Dunsfold Garden Village site if Trinity College Cambridge doesn’t get a move on?


In comments posted on his Linked In social media site, the former chancellor has pledged…

“to make sure developers build out faster on sites where they already have planning permission” to “drive up house-building while protecting the green belt.”

This means developers will be required to “build on land which already has planning permission locally first before they are granted more permissions in the same area,” said Sunak.

If the land has not been built on within an agreed time frame, enhanced compulsory purchase order powers will enable councils to purchase the land back at a discount, he said.

Furthermore, he proposed a “build-out levy to be raised on unbuilt planning permissions after a set period of time.”

Sunak’s plans depart significantly from measures to tackle the slow build-out of permissions set out in the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, published in May and currently going through its second reading.

The Bill includes a proposal to introduce commencement notices, which require applicants to say when they propose to start work on-site, and a reform of the operation of completion notices, in a bid to encourage the quick build-out of schemes.

Explanatory notes, published alongside the bill, state that commencement notices will require developers of certain schemes – the details of which will be set out in regulations – to provide, prior to starting work, the intended commencement date of works on the application.

The two remaining Conservative Party leadership candidates have both used planning and housing delivery as focal points for their campaign strategies. 

10 thoughts on “Could Sunak’s promise of new penalties prompt developers to build out permissions more quickly in Waverley?”

  1. Dunsfold Park have restarted the groundworks for building the Spine Road. So does that qualify as starting the development? Or do they have to build a house to meet the planning timescale requirements?

    1. Unlikely as the DP access route was a completely different Application to the Main Garden “Village”

      1. In which case they’ll have to get a move on as time marches on. They have to start next year.

      2. Yes, the consent for the road would have expired if Trinity College hadn’t pulled its finger out, so that is why the road is going ahead at this juncture, with TC footing the bill. Or, perhaps following the debacle over the cancelled sale to Columbia Threadneedle promoted by the Bursar, he will be paying for it?

  2. At last, a political who seems to understand!
    Or are they just campaign promises?
    Certainly be attractive to Conservative party members in Surrey.

    1. Promises from politicians with a record of lying during a campaign where they’ll promise anything. Yep, I’ll not bank on anything they say.

  3. Sorry – But the fact that Rishi thinks it is Local Councillors – that have been causing the problems and not that most of them have won on Appeal with Inspectors that are employed by the Current Government – shows he has no idea what he is talking about and it shows the Conservative (and other colours too) have no idea what is going on in our towns & villages. The Levelling up bill was all good & well but then the Inspectors overturned the Appeal for Gas Drilling at Dunsfold and now we have to take out another Appeal – all of which is costing us money.

    Until there is Someone that understands what is going on outside of Westminster – they are all talking B*llocks and I am so tired of listening to their promises which amount to Nothing..and so our villages get buried under concrete and then the country wonders why we cannot produce our own food any more… That is because COUNTRYSIDE beyond the Greenbelt means nothing as most people do not understand what Greenbelt is… It is Not the best agricultural land or the most beautiful – It is often just land that was allocated to stop URBAN settlements amalgamating… and as I will keep saying we do not have that protection here in the East of the County – Why? Because we don’t have the big URBAN settlements to amalgamate – we are in the COUNTRYSIDE…and so that protection was not needed.
    I totally agree that the AONB & AGLV Should be protected as they are areas of significance – But the fact that Dunsfold Park is partially in the AGLV and is overlooked and bordering the AONB – Who Cares?? it is Brownfield because it was used during the War effort as an airfield to protect this country.. and yes I accept that it is Partially Brownfield and if you could pick it up and put it somewhere near a Town – it may work as a Garden “Village” as the residents may be able to get on a train or other public transport, but we have to be honest about this… With the best will in the world with DP – It will become a large Business Park/Housing Estate and NOT a Garden Village. I hope we get a lovely new road onto the A281 and the HGV’s will stop driving down our Country Lanes – But that is nothing to do with the “Garden Village” It was for suitable access to the Business Park and the now dashed hopes for some of the facilities that were Proposed.

    Someone needs to get a big Eraser out and start again with DP. .or it really will just be carved up by Multiple Developers each after their own profits with no cohesion or sense of Place.
    Sorry End of Rant – Off on Hollibobs and I cannot access the WBC Planning Portal from Abroad – so radio silence for a bit (Not!)

    1. Well said Denise. Perhaps Jeremy Hunt can invite his new mate Rishi to visit us again, but this time not because it suits his political campaign? Why is it we only see the Conservatives when they want something?

  4. Had a thought on the way to the Airport, whilst talking to a V knowledgable Taxi driver… There is a major issue with Water (Lack of..) both Thames & Southern Water need more reservoirs – But no-one wants them….in their Backyards Why not make a proper Reservoir at DP? Change the Brownfield land into BLUEfield Land.
    You could still have the Business Park, you could still potentialy offer this side of the Borough other Ecological benefits, a country park, Medical Centre, Sort out Jigsaw and do all sorts of worthy things….. Still have some filming and possibly an Events Centre and let the rest of the Developers that have been granted Applications in the Villages PIGGY BACKING on the DP developement to sort out the rest of the Infrastructure in perpetuity- Maybe they wouldn’t be quite so keen to build here if they didn’t have the “Fall Back” of DP?? – Just a thought!
    Who Knows if the Dunfold Gas Drilling Application goes ahead – It may be useful to have a large Water Source in case of any future Issues!

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