The Government’s bid to fast-track the planning process could lead to more substandard and unaffordable housing in Enfield, MPs have warned.

Proposals to streamline planning in the biggest shake-up of the system for decades were published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government on August 6.

Under the proposals, planning applications based on pre-approved ‘design codes’ in areas earmarked for growth would be given automatic outline permission. Areas designated for ‘renewal’ would see a presumption in favour of some developments.

While residents would have a say in the development of design codes and location of ‘growth’, ‘renewal’ and ‘protection’ areas, the changes could lead to less scrutiny of applications by councillors and members of the public.

Enfield is seeing increasing numbers of large-scale developments planned for the borough, including several near Underground stations and on retail parks.

MP for Enfield North Feryal Clark said: “I really fear that these changes will be nothing more than a developers’ charter that will see our local communities side-lined as a new wave of substandard housing is created.

“Ministers need to focus on building genuinely affordable, high quality, and environmentally sustainable housing that we desperately need here in Enfield and right across the UK.

“The Government itself has suggested that housing built outside of our planning system is of poor quality, and yet they’re deciding to bulldoze through with this plan.

“Scrapping case-by-case approvals is a recipe for disaster and undermines our local democratic processes. The housing secretary needs to take a step back and think about the long-term consequences of these changes.”

MP for Edmonton Kate Osamor said: “On June 14, 2017, 72 people died in Grenfell tower as a result of successive Governments cutting ‘red tape’, giving developers more power and tenants less say.

“Nobody should be in any doubt – these new plans to cut even more regulations will put people’s lives at risk and lead to a new generation of privately owned and unaffordable slum housing.

“Once again, the Government has trampled all over tenants and local democracy.

“Building social housing on a mass scale doesn’t need to involve cutting corners, cutting regulations and cutting out the voices of local residents. The only interests these proposals serve are the interests of property developers.”

When the proposed changes were announced, ministers said they would “transform a system that has long been criticised for being too sluggish in providing housing for families, key workers and young people”.

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said: “Our complex planning system has been a barrier to building the homes people need; it takes seven years to agree local housing plans and five years just to get a spade in the ground.

“These once-in-a generation reforms will lay the foundations for a brighter future, providing more homes for young people and creating better quality neighbourhoods and homes across the country. “We will cut red tape, but not standards, placing a higher regard on quality, design and the environment than ever before. Planning decisions will be simple and transparent, with local democracy at the heart of the process.

“As we face the economic effects of the pandemic, now is the time for decisive action and a clear plan for jobs and growth. Our reforms will create thousands of jobs and lessen the dominance of big builders in the system, providing a major boost for small building companies across the country.”

The Government’s Planning for the Future consultation is available here.