Ministers have announced proposals for a planning ‘guarantee' designed to ensure no application for planning permission in England takes longer than 12 months to be determined, including any appeal.
Planning Minister Greg Clark has written to local authorities signalling the Coalition’s intentions. Government chief planner Steve Quartermain has also sent a letter to all chief planning officers setting out the issues that will be involved.
Under this initiative local people will be able to see how their councils perform against the ‘guarantee’ using information which will be made available by councils, probably on at least a quarterly basis.
The Department for Communities and Local Government will also publish a regular report on performance by individual councils. Full details of how the ‘guarantee’ will work will be published for consultation in the autumn.
During the financial year 2010-11 some 3,200 planning applications took longer than 52 weeks to be determined, ministers have pointed out.
In addition, the Government will consult later this year on reducing the information required to accompany all planning applications. Ministers are keen to hear from local people, local firms, councils, and other parties on what information is really helpful and necessary.
Clark insisted: “We need a simpler, swifter planning system that delivers fairness for all, from householders to local firms and shops.
"At the moment too many planning applications get stuck in the system for too long, leaving people in planning limbo.
"The planning guarantee will help remove the uncertainty from the system for communities and ensure that every application, big or small, is dealt with quickly and fairly."
4 August 2011