Just to clarify things, we obtained a fair chunk of information from our post direct from a release from the CLG: http://www.communities.gov.uk/news/planningandbuilding/2211918. Other bits were based on articles we have read in various publications over the past week.
A few of you have been asking about timeframes; we understand the proposals, as unleashed by David Cameron last week, are currently going through a consultation phase. We have checked with the lovely people at our local planning department (Cotswold District), who confirmed they have not received any official update on policy changes, and will therefore continue to assess as before, until told otherwise.
The planning team at Richmond Council is being more proactive, and has today announced they are pulling apart the proposals with a team of legal advisers, apparently on the lookout for ways they can avoid the proposed changes. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19657931
If Richmond decides it has the flexibility to go it alone and break away from official policy, you have to wonder how many other planning authorities would join them.